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SWORD 100.00%
The ordinary sword of the Greeks (xiphos, figs. 2 and 5), had a straight two-edged blade 16 to 18 inches long, and 2 to 2 1/2 inches broad; the handle, which was often made in one piece with the blade, was 4 to 6 inches long, and without a bend, but with a cross or shell-shaped guard. The scabbard was of metal or leather mounted with metal, and frequently covered the hilt as well as the blade (see fig. 1). It hung by a belt thrown over the shoulder, usually on the left side, on a level with the hip. At the beginning of the 4th century B.C., a sword of nearly double this length was introduced by Iphicrates for the light infantry called peltasts. A sword slightly curved on one side from the hilt upwards, and only sharpened on this side, was the machaira (figs. 3 and 4). This was the shape of the Spartan sword (xyele), which was peculiarly short. For the Roman sword, see GLADIUS.
XIPHOS 100.00%
The straight, two-edged sword of the Greeks. (See SWORD.)
XYELE 81.10%
The short, slightly curved, one-edged sword of the Spartans. (See SWORD.)
A one-edged sword, slightly curved, in use among the Greeks. For further information, see SWORD.
GLADIUS 34.43%
The Roman military sword, which was attacbed to a shoulder-strap round the neck, or to the girdle round the waist. The common soldiers wore it on the right side; the officers, having no shield like the common soldiers, on the left. It was a short, sharp, two-edged weapon, used more for thrusting than cutting. In the republican period it was only worn by magistrates when acting as military officers; but under the Empire it was the emblem of imperial power, and in consequence one of the insignia of the emperor and the commanders nominated by him. After the introduction of the sword instead of the axe in executions, the ius gladii was the term expressing the full criminal jurisdiction confered by the emperor on the provincial governors.
The heavily armed foot-soldiers of the Greeks, who fought in serried masses (see PHALANX). Their weapons consisted of an oval shield suspended from the shoulder-belt, and wielded by means of a handle, a coat of mail (see THORAX), a helmet and greaves of bronze, and sometimes a lance about six feet long, and a short sword. The Spartans, who fought with shields large enough to cover the whole man, appear to have worn neither cuirass nor greaves. The whole equipment, weighing close on 77 lbs., was worn only in battle; on the march the greater part of it was carried by a slave. An idea of the equipment of an Athenian hoplite [about 500 B.C.] may be derived from the accompanying illustration of the monument to the Athenian Aristion (found near Marathon, but probably of earlier date than 490). The weapons of the Macedonian hoplites, or phalangitoe, were a circular shield with a bronze plate, about two feet in diameter, and about twelve pounds in weight, a leather jerkin with brass mountings and ornaments, light greaves, a round felt hat (see CAUSIA), a short sword, and the Macedonian sarissa (q.v.).
The Latin name for the combatants who fought each other for life or death at the public shows. They first appear in Rome in 264 B.C., and only at the celebrations of private funerals, or in games given in memory of a private individual. Entertainments of this kind were often provided for in wills. The custom, like others of the same kind, seems to have come from Etruria, where it was a survival of the human sacrifices formerly usual at funerals. These gladiatorial contests soon became a very favourite form of popular entertainment, and in the last century of the republic were hold to be an excellent means of winning the favour of the populace at elections. Indeed, custom at length imposed an obligation on some magistrates, for instance on the aediles, to give gladiatorial games on their assumption of office; and they would try to outbid each other in the number of contending couples and in general expenditure. From Rome the fashion soon spread into the provinces. Campania was the part of Italy where it most prevailed. It was not, however, till the time of Domitian that quaestors designate were regularly compelled to give the great gladiatorial ex-ibitions, which occupied ten days in the month of December. In the Western Empire they survived at least down to the beginning of the 5th century A.D. They were at first given in the forum, but afterwards generally in the amphitheatres (see AMPHITHEATRE, and in the circus, if the exhibition was to be on a very large scale. The gladiators were sometimes condemned criminals; but it must be remembered that originally Roman citizens could not be sentenced to the arena, and it was not till later times that this punishment was extended to criminals of low condition. Sometimes they were prisoners of war, slaves, or volunteers. Under the Empire it was not so uncommon, even in the upper classes, to volunteer as a gladiator. Sometimes the step was the last refuge of a ruined man; sometimes the emperor would force a man to it. These volunteers were called auctorati (=bound over), to distinguish them from the rest; their pay was termed auctoramentum. Troops of gladiators were sometimes owned by Romans in good society, who often, towards the end of the republican age, employed them in streetfights against their political opponents. Sometimes they were the property of speculators, who often carried on at the same time the disreputable trade of a fencing master (lanista). These men would hire out or sell their gladiators to persons who were giving their shows, or would exhibit them for money to the public on their own account. The gladiators were trained in special schools (ludi). Under the Empire things went so far that the emperors kept schools of their own under the supervision of procuratores of equestrian rank. After Domitian's time there were four of these in Rome. A building for this purpose, large enough for a hundred gladiators, is preserved in Pompeii. To strengthen their muscles they were put on a very nourishing diet. Every style of fighting had its special professor (doctor or mdgister), and the gladiator was usually instructed only in one style. The novice (tiro) began with fence-practice against a wooden stake, at first with light wooden arms, but afterwards with weapons of full weight. If a man were intending to give a show of gladiators (manus gladiatorium) he advertised it by notices (programmata ) put up on the walls of houses, numerous copies of these being at the same time widely distributed. These notices stated the date and occasion of the show, the name of the giver (editor), the number of pairs of gladiators, and the different kinds of combats. The performance began with a gala procession (pompa) of the gladiators to the arena and through it. Then came the testing of the weapons by the editor, who, though he might be a private individual, had the right of wearing the insignia of a magistrate during the show. A preliminary skirmish or prolusio, with wooden swords and darts, next took place, till the trumpets sounded, and the serious fighting began. This took place to the accompaniment of music in a space, measured out by the fencing master. The gladiators sometimes fought, not in pairs, but in troops. The timid were driven on with whips and red-hot irons. If a gladiator was wounded in single combat, he raised his fore-finger to implore the mercy of the people, with whom, after the last years of the republic, the giver of the games usually left the decision. The sign of mercy (missio ) was the waving of handkerchiefs: the clenched fist and downward thumb indicated that the combat was to be fought out till death. Condemned criminals had no chance of mercy. The slain, or nearly slain, were carried on the biers which stood ready for them, to a particular door (porta Libitinensis), into a place where they were, stripped ( spoliarium). There, if they had not actually expired, they were put to death. The victors received palms, with branches adorned with fillets. Under the Empire they sometimes got presents of money a& well. If a gladiator, by repeated proofs of cleverness and bravery, succeeded in gaining the favour of the people, he was, at the public request, presented with a kind of wooden rapier (rudis),[1] as a token that he was now free from all further service. In this case he was called rudiarius. This did not make him an absolutely free man; but if he chose to fight again, he did so as a free man, and could accordingly claim a high remuneration. Gladiators were armed in various styles, as the pairs of combatants were usually armed, not with the same, but with different weapons, The weapons of gladiators, and notably their helmets, were quite different in form from the arms of soldiers (see fig. 1). Gladiators were classed according to their equipment. Thus the retiarius was armed with a net, was bareheaded, and had nothing on but a short tunic and a girdle; his left arm was in a sleeve; his arms were a net (iaculum), a trident (fuscina), and a dagger. The net he tried to throw over his pursuing adversary, and to despatch him with dagger or trident, if successful. The secutor, or pursuer, was so called, because he was generally set to fight with the retiarius, who retired before him (fig. 2). He was as lightly equipped as his adversary, but armed with helmet, sword, and shield. The myrmillo (fig. 3), who was also often matched against the retiarius, was armed in Gallic fashion with helmet, sword and shield, and named after the figure of a fish (mormylos, which adorned his helmet. The Samnis, or Samnite, was so called after his Samnite equipment. This consisted of a large shield (scutum), a sleeve of leather or metal on the right arm, with a shoulder piece (galerus), rising above the shoulder, a girdle, a greave on the left foot, a visored helmet with crest and plume, and a short sword. The Thrax, or Thracian, wore, like his countrymen, a small round shield (parma) and a dagger (sica) curved in the form of a sickle, or bent at right angles. In other respects his equipment was more complete than the Samnite's, for he had greaves on both legs.The hoplomachus, or heavily armed gladiator, wore a breastplate, as well as visored helmet, and greaves. In later times the place of the retiarius was sometimes taken by the laquearius, who wore the same light armour, but carried a short sword and a noose (laqueus), which he threw over his adversary and pulled him to the ground. The dimachaeri, or men who fought with two swords, are also apparently the production of a later time. The essedarii (from essedum, a British war-car with two horses) fought in chariots. The andabatoe (fig. 4) fought on horseback, armed with small round shield and spear (spiculum), and a visored helmet without eyeholes, and charged each other in the dark. There are many representations of gladiatorial combats in works of art, the most comprehensive of which is a large bas-relief in Pompeii. [Overbeck's Pompeii, figs. 106-112; or Schreiber's Bilderatlas , I xxx figs. 2-8.]
PELEUS 19.32%
Son of Aeacus and of Endeis, and brother of Telamon. He was banished with his brother, on account of the murder of his step-brother Phocus, whom he had slain with the discus out of envy at his strength and skill. His father banished him from Aegina, but he was purified from his murder, and hospitably received by his uncle Eurytion, king of Thessalian Phthia. Eurytion gave to Peleus his daughter Antigone, mother of the beautiful Polydora, and one-third of his land as a dowry. Peleus accompanied Eurytion in the Calydonian Hunt, and killed him unawares with a javelin. Thereupon he fled from Phthia to Iolcus, where, once again, king Acastus cleansed him from the guilt of bloodshed. Because he rejected the proposals of Astydameia, the wife of Acastus, she slandered him to his wife and to her husband, telling the former that Peleus was wooing her daughter Sterope, and the latter that he wished to persuade her to infidelity. Antigone killed herself for sorrow, but Acastus planned revenge. When Peleus, wearied by the chase, had fallen asleep on Pelion, Acastus left him alone, after hiding in a dunghill his irresistible sword, the work of Hephaestus and the gift of the gods. When Peleus awoke and sought his sword, he was attacked by the Centaurs, and only delivered by the presence among them of Chiron, his maternal grandfather. With Chiron's help he recovered his sword, slew Acastus and his wife, and took possession of the throne of Iolcus. The gods decreed him the seagoddess Thetis (q.v.) as his wife. With Chiron's help he overcame her resistance in a grotto by the sea, although she endeavoured to escape by changing into fire, water, beast, or fish. The marriage was celebrated in Chiron's cave on the summit of Pelion, and the immortals appeared and gave Peleus presents: Poseidon, the undying steeds Balius and Xanthus, and all the gods the weapons with which Achilles afterwards fought before Troy; Chiron presented him with a lance made of an ash tree on Mount Pelion. Apollo and the Muses sang of the deeds of Peleus and of his unborn son. But Eris, or Strife, also appeared, uninvited, and threw among the goddesses a golden apple with the inscription, For the Fairest, thus giving the first cause for the Trojan War (q.v.). In this war the only offspring of this marriage, the hero Achilles, is said to have found an untimely end during his father's lifetime. According to a later tradition, unknown to Homer, Thetis forsook her husband, because his presence hindered her from making her son immortal.
ARGUS 16.69%
Son of Inachus, Agenor or Arestor; or, according to another account, an earthborn giant, who had eyes all over his body, whence be was called Panoptes, or all-seeing. Hera set him to watch 16, (q.v.) when transformed into a cow; but Hermes, at Zeus' bidding, sent all his eyes. to sleep by the magic of his wand and flute, and cut his head with a sickle-shaped sword, whence his title Argeiphontes was explained to mean " slayer of Argus." Hera set the eyes of her dead watchman in the tail of her sacred bird the peacock.
ATREUS 14.28%
Son of Pelops and Hippodamia, grandson of Tantalus. (See PELOPS.) With the help of his brother Thyestes he murdered his step-brother Chrysippus. To escape the wrath of their father, the pair of brothers took refuge with their brother-in-law Sthenelus, king of Mycenae, who gave them Media to live in. Eurystheus, the brother of their protector, was killed in battle with the Heracleidae. Atreus kept possession of the kingdom of Mycenae, which had been given him in charge by Eurystheus, and maintained it in virtue of possessing a golden lamb, which had been given him by Hermes for the purpose of exciting discord in the house of Pelops and avenging the death of his son Myrtilus. Thyestes debauched his brother's wife Aerope, daughter of the king of Crete, and with her aid got possession of the golden lamb and the kingdom. But, as a sign that right and wrong had been confounded, Zeus turned the sun and the moon back in their course. Atreus accordingly recovered the kingdom and expelled Thyestes. To revenge himself, Thyestes sent Pleisthenes, a son of Atreus whom he had brought up as his own, to Mycenae to murder Atreus. But Atreus slew Pleisthenes, not knowing that he was his son. Atreus replied by bringing back Thyestes and his family from exile, and serving up to Thyestes at table the limbs of his own sons. Thyestes fled away; the land was visited with barrenness and famine. In obedience to an oracle, Atreus goes forth to seek him, but only finds his daughter Pelopia, whom he takes to wife. Egisthus, her son by her father Thyestes, who is destined to avenge him, Atreus adopts and rears as his own child. Thyestes is afterwards found by Agamemnon and Menelaus, who bring him to Mycenae. He is imprisoned, and Aegisthus ordered to murder him. By the sword which Aegisthus carries Thyestes recognises him as his son, and proposes to him to slay Atreus. Meanwhile Pelopia, in horror at the discovery of her son's incestuous origin, drives the sword into her own breast. Aegisthus takes the bloody sword to Atreus as a proof that he has executed his commission, and afterwards falls upon him with Thyestes, while he is engaged in making a thank-offering on the sea-shore. Thyestes and Aegisthus thereupon seize the government of Mycenae, and drive Agamemnon and Menelaus out of the country. The older story knows nothing of these horrors. In Homer Pelops receives the sceptre from Zeus by the ministration of Hermes; he leaves it to Atreus, and Atreus to Thyestes, who hands it down to Agamemnon. Hesiod alludes to the wealth of the Pelopidae, but is silent as to the rest.
GLAUCUS 14.13%
Great-grandson of (3): grandson of 1 The swords used by gladiators often resembled rapiers: see fig. 1. ellerophoutes, and son of Hippolochus, prince of the Lycians. With his kinsman Sarpedon, he was leader of the Lycian auxiliaries of Priam, and met Diomedes in the melee. The two chieftains recognised each other as friends and guests of their grandfather Bellerophoutes, and (Eneus, and exchanged armour, Glaucus parting with his golden suit for the brazen arms of Diomedes. When the Greek entrenchments were stormed, Glaucus had reached the top of the wall when he was put to flight by an arrow shot by Teucer. He protected Hector when wounded by Achilles; with Apollo's aid he avenged Sarpedon, and took a prominent part in the struggle for the body of Patroclus. He finally met his death at the hand of Ajax.
PILUM 12.83%
The javelin of the Roman legionaries (about six feet long), which was hurled at the enemy's ranks at the beginning of the engagement, before proceeding to the use of the sword. It consisted of a wooden shaft three feet long, easily grasped in the hand, and an iron head of the same length, culminating in a barbed point, and provided with a socket to which the shaft was attached by iron rivets. Marius had the heads constructed of soft weak iron, the point only being steeled. In this way, if the point stuck in the shield of an enemy, the iron was bent by the weight of the shaft, rendering the weapon useless and difficult to draw out, while it made the shield unmanageable so long as it remained in it [Plutarch, Marius, 25]. When well thrown, the pilum would penetrate both shield and armour. (See cut.)
The daughters of Minyas, the rich king of Orchomenus and mythical ancestral hero of the race of the Minyae; their names were Alcathoe (Alcithoe), Leucippe, and Arsippe. When the worship of Dionysus was introduced into Boeotia, and all the other women wandered in frenzy over the mountains in honour of the god, they alone remained at home, and profaned the festival by working at their looms, in spite of the warning of the god, who had appeared to them in the shape of a maiden. It was not till he had assumed the shapes of a bull, a lion, and a panther, had made milk and wine flow from the yarnbeams, and had changed their weft into grapes and vine-leaves, that they were terrified and drew lots who should offer a sacrifice to the god; and Leucippe, on whom the lot fell, tore her own son Hippasus to pieces in her Bacchic fury. They then raged about on the mountains till they were transformed into bats. With this legend was connected the custom, that at the annual festival of Dionysus the priest of the god was allowed to pursue the women of the Minyan race with a drawn sword and kill them. [Aelian, V. H. iii 42 ; Plutarch, Quaest. Gr. 38; Ovid, Met. iv 1-40, 390-415.]
LEGION 12.06%
In the time of Romulus the united armed forces of Rome went by this name. The legion consisted of 300 knights (celeres) under the command of a tribunus celerum, appointed by the king, and 3,000 foot soldiers, under the command of three tribuni militum. Each of the three ancient tribes provided a third of this force and one tribune. With the increase of the military forces of Rome the name of legio was given to each of the sub-divisions equivalent in numbers to the original army. The military system of king Servius Tullius made the infantry the most important part of the military forces, instead of the cavalry as heretofore. The five classes included in the census (q.v.) were obliged to serve in the army at their own expense; those who were not comprised in these classes, viz. the proletarii, were freed from service, and, when they were enlisted, received their equipment from the State. The iuniores, those who were from 17 to 46 years old, were appointed for field service, and the seniores, those from 47 to 60, for the defence of the city. The first and second lines of the legion, drawn up in unbroken order like the Greek phalanx, consisted of citizens of the first class, equipped with helmet, cuirass, round shield (clipeus), and greaves, all of bronze. The third and fourth lines were from the second class, and had no cuirass, but had the helmet and greaves and large oblong shields (scutum). The fifth and sixth were armed similarly, but without greaves, and were drawn from the third class. The fourth class was armed with the scutum as its only weapon of defence, but, like the others, provided with spear (hasta) and sword. It either filled the seventh and eighth lines, or, with the fifth class, formed the rorarii, who opened the battle with slings and other light missiles. An impontant alteration, ascribed to Camillus (about B.C. 390), was the abolition of the phalanx and introduction of the manipular formation, which prevailed till the time of Marius (end of the 2nd century B.C.). In the flourishing days of the Republic, the normal strength of a legion, which could be increased in time of need, consisted of 300 knights (equites), and 4,200 foot soldiers (pedites). In respect to the weapons used, the latter were divided into four kinds, according to their length of service and familiarity with warfare. (1) 1,200 hastati, all in early manhood; (2) 1,200 principes, in the full vigour of life; (3) 600 triarii, who were proved veterans; and (4) 1,200 velites, who were lightly armed, and were drawn from the lowest classes of the census. The three first classes had a bronze helmet (cassis) with a lofty plume of feathers, a scutum, a leathern cuirass (lorica, q.v. ), greaves and a sword (gladius), which, after the second Punic War was of the Spanish kind, being short, strong, and two-edged, fitted for thrusting rather than cutting, and worn on the right side. There was also a spear, which in the two first divisions was a pilum (q.v.), and among the triarii a lance [Polyb. vi 23). The velites were armed with a leather helmet (galea), a light shield (parma), and a sword and several light javelins. The 3,000 heavily armed men were divided into 30 manipuli, numbering 120 men each among the hastati and principes, and 60 each among the triarii, and were again subdivided into two bodies called centuriae, and led by centurions (q.v.). Of the 1,200 velites, 20 were allotted to each century, and they formed the final complement of each maniple. On the field of battle the maniples were drawn up in open order, separated laterally from one another by intervals corresponding to the breadth of each maniple in front. The arrangement of the maniples would thus resemble that of the black squares on a chessboard. They fell into three divisions; the hastati in the front rank, with the principes behind them, and the triarii in the rear. If the first division, the hastati, were compelled to give way, then the second division, the principes, advanced through the intervals t by the maniples of the first division; if the principes in their turn had to retreat, then the third division, the triarii, who had been previously kneeling, protected by their shields, allowed the hastati and principes to fall back into the intervals separating the maniples of the triarii, and themselves closing their ranks pressed forward to meet the enemy. The 300 knights of the legion were divided into 10 turmae of 30 men each, and were equipped with a bronze cuirass, leathern greaves, helmet, shield, a long sword for attacking, and a long lance provided at both ends with an iron point. Each turma was under three decurions and three underofficers (optiones). The legion as a whole was under the command of six tribuni militum (q.v.) The consular army consisted of two legions. Four legions were regularly levied in each year; in other words, 16,800 foot soldiers and 1,200 cavalry. This levy of citizens was further swelled by the Italian allies (socii), a body of 20,000 foot soldiers and 3,600 cavalry, thus adding to each of the two consular armies 10,000 foot soldiers and 1,800 cavalry. The former were in twenty cohorts (see COHORS), each consisting of 420 men. Ten of these cohorts fought on the right wing, and ten on the left wing of the legions. Besides these, four cohorts of 400 men each were formed into a picked body. The cavalry were in six squadrons (See ALA, 1) of 300 men each. Four of these belonged to the main army, and two to the picked body. In wars beyond the limits of Italy there were also auxiliary forces (auxilia), consisting either of soldiers raised in the country where the war was being carried on, or of light-armed troops furnished by allied kings and nations. Besides the ordinary component parts of the legion there was also the bodyguard of the commander-in-chief, the cohors proetoria. (See COHORS.) In the course of the 1st century B.C. the organization of the legion was essentially altered. In the first place, in the time of Marius, the census ceased to be the basis of the levy, and all the citizens collectively were placed on the same footing in respect to their military service and the uniform which they wore. All the soldiers of the legion alike received the heavy equipment and the pilum, while the light-armed velites were done away with. After the right of citizenship had been conferred on the Italian allies, these no longer formed a separate part of the legions, but were incorporated with them. Thus the Roman army now consisted only of heavy-armed legions and of light-armed auxiliary troops. The latter were partly raised in the provinces and divide into cohorts, and partly enlisted as slingers and archers. The cavalry of the legions ceased to exist. Like the light-armed soldiers, the whole of the cavalry consisted of auxiliary troops, who were partly enlisted and partly levied from the provinces, while some were supplied according to agreement by allied nations and princes. A further important novelty introduced by Marius was the use of the cohort-formation, instead of the maniple-formation, which broke up the front too much. The legion was now divided into ten cohorts, in each of which there were three maniples of hastati, principes, and triarii, designations which now only concern the relative rank of the six centurions of the cohort. The customary battle array was in three divisions, the first being formed of four cohorts, and the second and third of three each. Again, while in earlier times the obligation of service extended at the most in the infantry to twenty campaigns and in the cavalry to ten, from the days of Marius the soldier remained uninterruptedly for twenty years with the army; an earlier dismissal being only exceptional. For this reason the well-to-do classes sought to withdraw themselves from the general military service, and it thus came to pass that the legions were for the greater part manned by means of conscriptions from the lowest strata of the burgher population of Italy, in which the service was regarded simply as a means of livelihood. Thus from the original army of citizens there was gradually developed a standing army of mercenaries. Under the Empire we find what is really a standing army, bound to the emperor by oath (see SACRAMENTUM); apart from the legions this army consisted of the auxilia (q.v.), the guards stationed in Rome and the neighbourhood (see PRAeTORIANI), and the city-cohorts (see COHORS), the artillery and the corps of workmen (see FABRI), the marines (see CLASSIARII), and the municipal and provincial militia. The legions are now once more provided with a corps of cavalry 120 strong, and are designated not only by numbers, but also by distinctive names. Together with the auxiliary troops they form the garrison of the imperatorial provinces under the command of the imperatorial legati legionum (see LEGATI), whose place was taken in the middle of the 3rd century by the praefecti legionum (see PRAeFECTI.). The strength of the legion now amounted to 5-6,000 men, raised partly by a regular levy, partly by drawing recruits from the Roman citizens of all the provinces beyond the bounds of Italy. As under the Republic, it was divided into 10 cohorts of 6 centuries each; the first cohort was, however, twice the strength of the remainder. It was not until the second half of the 3rd century A.D. that a now division of the 10 cohorts into 55 centuries came into use, with 10 centuries in the first cohort, and 5 in each of the rest. At the death of Augustus, the number of the legions was 25; it was then increased to 30, and this number was maintained until the end of the 2nd century, when three new legions were added by Septimius Severus. From the beginning of the 4th century it gradually rose to about 175, each of them, however, mustering a considerably smaller contingent. Incourse, of time, and especially after the 2nd century, owing to the conflicts with the barbarians, the legion was drawn up more and more after the manner of the Greek phalanx, without intervals in its line and with a division of troops in its rear. In its equipment there was an important alteration beginning with the second half of the 3rd century, when ad the soldiers of the legion carried long swords (Spathae), and the first five cohorts two pila, one larger and another smaller, while the last five had lanceae, or javelins serving as missiles, and fitted with a leather loop to help in hurling them with precision. The military music of the Romans was provided by tubicines (see TUBA.), cornicines (See CORNICEN), bucinatores (see BUCINA), and liticines (see LITUUS, 2). On standards or ensigns, see SIGNUM and VEXILLUM. On levy, oath of allegiance, pay, and discharge from service, see DILECTUS, SACRAMENTUM, STIPENDIUM, and MISSIO. The accompanying cut (from the Column of Trajan) represents the soldiers of a legion on the march, carrying their helmets close to the right shoulder, and their kit at the top of a pole resting on the left.
NEMESIS 10.94%
A post-Homeric personification of the moral indignation felt at all derangements of the natural equilibrium of things, whether by extraordinarily good fortune or by the arrogance usually attendant thereon. According to Hesiod she is daughter of Night, and with Aidos, the divinity of Modesty, left the earth on the advent of the iron age. As goddess of due proportion she hates every trangression of the bounds of moderation, and restores the proper and normal order of things. As, in doing this, she punishes wanton boastfulness, she is a divinity of chastisement and vengeance. She enjoyed special bonour in the Attic district of Rhamnus (where she was deemed to be the daughter of Oceanus), and is often called the Rhamnusian goddess; her statue there was said to have been executed by Phidias out of a block of Parian marble which the Persians bad brought with them in presumptuous confidence to Marathon, to erect a trophy of victory there. She was also called Adrasteia, that name, appropriate only to the Phrygian Rhea-Cybele, being interpreted as a Greek word with the, meaning, "She whom none can escape." She was also worshipped at Rome, especially by victorious generals, and was represented as a meditative, thoughtful maiden with the attributes of proportion and control (a measuring-rod, bridle and yoke), of punishment (a sword and scourge) and of swiftness (wings, wheel, and chariot drawn by griffins).
ADONIS 8.60%
Sprung, according to the common legend, from the unnatural love of the Cyprian princess Myrrha (or Smyrna) for her father Cinyras, who, on becoming aware of the crime, pursues her with a sword ; but she, praying to the gods, is changed into a myrtle, out of whose bark springs the beautiful Adonis, the beloved of Aphrodite. While yet a youth, he dies wounded by a boar in hunting; the goddess, inconsolable, makes the anemone grow out of his blood. As she will not give up her darling, and Persephone has fallen in love with him, Zeus decrees that he shall pass half the year with one and half with the other goddess. Adonis (- lord) was properly a Syrian god of nature, a type of vegetation, which after a brief blossoming always dies again. The myth was embodied in a yearly Feast of Adonis held by women, which, starting from Byblos in Syria, the cradle of this worship came by way of Cyprus to Asia Minor and Greece, then under the Ptolemies to Egypt and in the imperial age to Rome. When the river Adonis by Byblos ran red with the soil washed down from Lebanon by the autumn rain, they said Adonis was slain by the boar in the mountains, and the water was dyed with his blood. Then the women set out to seek him, and having found a figure that they took to be his corpse, performed his funeral rites with lamentations as wild as the rejoicings that followed over his resurrection were licentious. The feast was held, in the East, with great magnificence. In Greece the celebration was much simpler, a leading feature being the little "Adonis-gardens," viz. pots holding all kinds of herbs that come out quickly and as quickly fade, which were finally thrown into the water. At the court of Alexandria a figure in costly apparel was displayed on a silver bier, and the next morning carried in procession by the women to the sea, and committed to the waves. In most places the feast was held in the hottest season.
AIAS 8.42%
Son of Telamon of Salamis, and half-brother of Teucer: called the Great Aias, because he stood head and shoulders higher than the other Greek heroes. He brings twelve ships to Troy, where he proves himself second only to Achilles in strength and bravery; and while that hero holds aloof from the fight, he is the mainstay of the Achaeans, especially when the Trojans have taken their camp by storm and are pushing the battle to their ships. In the struggle over the corpse of Patroclus, he and his namesake the son of Oileus cover Menelaus and Meriones while they carry off their fallen comrade. When Thetis offered the arms and armour of Achilles as a prize for the worthiest, they were adjudged, not to Aias, but to his only competitor Odysseus. Trojan captives bore witness that the cunning of Odysseus had done them more harm than the valour of Achilles. Aias thereupon, according to the post-Homeric legend, killed himself in anger, a feeling he still cherished against Odysseus even in the lower world. The later legend relates that he was driven mad by the slight, mistook the flocks in the camp for his adversaries, and slaughtered them, and on coming to his senses again, felt so mortified that he fell on his sword, the gift of Hector after the duel between them. Out of his blood sprang the purple lily, on whose petals could be traced the first letters of his name, Ai, Ai. His monument stood on the Rhoetean promontory, where he had encamped before Troy, and upon which the waves washed the coveted arms of Achilles after the shipwreck of Odysseus. As the national hero of Salamis, he had a temple and statue there, and a yearly festival, the Aianteia; and he was worshipped at Athens, where the tribe Aiantis was named after him. He too was supposed to linger with Achilles in the island of Leuce. By Tecmessa, daughter of the Phrygian king Teuthras, whom he had captured in one of the raids from before Troy, he had a son Eurysaces, who is said to have removed from Salamis to Attica with his son or brother Phihaeus, and founded flourishing families, which produced many famous men, for instance Miltiades, Cimon, Alcibiades, and the historian Thucydides.
Son of Zeus and Danae, grandson of Acrisius (q.v.). An oracle had declared that Danae, the daughter of Acrisius, would give birth to a son who would kill his grandfather. Acrisius committed Perseus with his mother to the sea in a wooden box, which was carried by the waves to the isle of Seriphus. Here the honest fisherman Dictys son of Magnes (See AeOLUS, 1) brought it to land with his net, and took care of mother and child. Dictys' brother Polydectes, however, the king of the island, conceived a passion for the fair Danae, and finding the son in the way, betrayed the young Perseus, who was now grown out of boyhood, into promising, on the occasion of a banquet, to do anything for him, even should he order the head of Medusa, and held him to his word. Encouraged and assisted by Athene and Hermes, Perseus reached the Graiae (q.v.), in the farthest part of Libya; and by capturing the single eye and tooth which they possessed in common, compelled them to show him the way to their sisters the Gorgons (q.v.). He also made them equip him for the undertaking with the winged sandals, the magic bag, and the helmet of Hades, which made the wearer invisible. Hermes added to these a sharp sword shaped like a sickle. Thus provided, he flew to the Gorgons on the shores of Oceanus, found them asleep, and, since their glance turned the beholder to stone, with face averted smote and cut off Medusa's head, which Athens showed him in the mirror of her shield, while she guided his hand for the blow. He thrust it quickly into his bag, and flew off through the air, pursued by the other two Gorgons; but, by virtue of his helmet, he escaped them, and came in his flight to Aethiopia. Here he rescued Andromeda (q.v.), and won her as his bride. Returning with her to Seriphus, he avenged his mother for the importunities of Polydectes by turning the king and his friends into stone by the sight of Medusa's head; set Dictys on the throne of the island; gave up the presents of the, Graiae to Hermes, who restored them; and presented the Gorgon's head to Athene, who set it in the middle of her shield or breastplate. Then he returned with his mother and wife to Argos. But before his arrival Acrisius bad gone away to Larissa in Thessaly, and here Perseus unwittingly killed him with a discus at the funeral games held in honour of the king of that country. He duly buried the body of his grandfather, but, being unwilling to succeed to his inheritance, effected an exchange with Megapenthes, his uncle Proetus' son, took Tiryns in exchange for Argos and built Midea and Mycenae. By Andromeda he had one daughter, Gorgophone, and six sons. The eldest, Perses, was regarded as the ancestor of the Persians; Alcaeus, Sthenelus, and Electryon were the fathers respectively of Amphitryon, Eurystheus, and Alcmene, the mother of Heracles. Perseus had a shrine (heroon) on the road between Argos and Mycenae, and was worshipped with divine honours in Seriphus and Athens.
SALII 5.46%
An old Italian college of priests of Mars; said to have been introduced at Rome by Numa and doubled by Tullus Hostilius. The earlier college was called the Salii Palatini, and the later the Salii Agonales or Collini. The former derived their name from their curia on the Palatine Hill; the latter, from the Colline Gate, near which stood their sanctuary on the Quirinal. Both colleges consisted of twelve life-members of patrician family, and recruited their numbers from young men, whose parents were required to be still living; at their head was a magister, a praesul (leader in the dance), and a vates (leader in the song). The cult of the Palatine Salii had to do with Mars, that of the Colline with Quirnus; but the chief connexion of both was with the holy shields, ancilia. (See ANCILE with cut.) The chief business of the Salii fell in March, the beginning of the campaigning season. On March 1st they began a procession through the city, each of them dressed in an embroidered tunic, a bronze breastplate, and a peaked helmet, girt about with a sword, with one of the holy shields on the left arm, and in the right hand a staff, while trumpeters walked in front of them. At all the altars and temples they made a halt, and, under the conduct of the two leaders, danced the war-dance in three measures, from which they take their name of Salii or "dancers," accompanying it by singing certain lays, beating their shields meanwhile with the staves. Every day the procession came to an end at certain appointed stations, where the shields were kept over the night in special houses, and the Salii themselves partook of a meal proverbial for its magnificence [Horace, Odes i 37, 2]. Until March 24th the ancilia were in motion; within this time some special festivities, were also held, in which the Salii took part. On March 11th there was a chariot-race in honour of Mars (Equiria) and a sacrificial feast in honour of the supposed fabricator of the shields, Mamurius Veturius; on the 19th was the ceremony of the cleansing of the shields, and on the 23rd the cleansing of the holy trumpets (tubae) of the priests, called the tubilustrium. The days on which the ancilia were in motion were accounted solemn (religiosi), and on these days men avoided marching out to war, offering battle, and concluding a marriage. In October, the close of the campaigning season, the ancilia were once more brought out, in order to be cleansed in the Campus Martins. The lays of the Salii, called aoeamenta, were referred to Numa, and were written in the archaic Saturnian verse, and in such primitive language, that they were scarcely intelligible even to the priests themselves, and as early as the beginning of the 1st century B.C. were the object of learned interpretation. [Quintilian i 6 § 40. Two or three connected bits of these lays have come down to us (Allen's Remnants of Early Latin, p. 74). The most intelligible is the following, in a rude Saturnian measure: ¦ Cumé tonds, Leucésie, + prae tet tremónti, ¦ Quom tiibei cúnei + déxtumúm tondront; ¦ i.e. Cum tonas, Lucetie (thou god of light), prae te tremunt, cum tibi cunei (bolts of lightning) a dextra tonuerunt.] Besides Mars, other deities, such as Janus, Jupiter, and Minerva, were invoked in them; the invocation of Mamurius Veturius formed the close [Ovid, Fasti, iii 260 ff.]. After the time of Augustus the names of individual emperors were also inserted in the lays
MUSES 5.41%
In Greek mythology originally the Nymphs of inspiring springs, then goddesses of song in general, afterwards the representatives of the various kinds of poetry, arts, and sciences. In Homer, who now speaks of one, and now of many Muses, but without specifying their number or their names, they are considered as goddesses dwelling in Olympus, who at the meals of the gods sing sweetly to the lyre of Apollo, inspire the poet and prompt his song. Hesiod [Theog. 52-,76-,] calls them the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, born in Pieria, and mentions their names, to which we shall at the same time add the province and the attributes afterwards assigned to each (see cuts). (1) CALLIOPE (she of the fair voice), in Hesiod the noblest of all, the Muse of epic song; among her attributes are a wax tablet and a pencil. (2) CLIO (she that extols), the Muse of history; with a scroll. (3) EUTERPE (she that gladdens), the Muse of lyric song; with the double flute. (4) THALIA (she that flourishes), the Muse of comedy and bucolic poetry; with the comic mask, the ivy wreath, and the shepherd's staff. (5) MELPOMENE (she that sings), the Muse of tragedy; with tragic mask, ivy wreath, and occasionally with attributes of individual heroes, e.g. the club, the sword. (6) TERPSICHORE (she that rejoices in the dance), the Muse of dancing; with the lyre. (7) ERATO (the lovely one), the Muse of erotic poetry; with a smaller lyre. (8) POLYMNIA or POLYHYMNIA (she that is rich in hymns), the Muse of serious sacred songs; usually represented as veiled and pensive. (9) URANIA (the heavenly), the Muse of astronomy; with the celestial globe. Three older Muses were sometimes distinguished from these. MELETE (Meditation), MNEME (Remembrance), AOIDE (Song), whose worship was said to have been introduced by Aloidae, Otus and Ephialtes, near Mount Helicon. Thracian settlers, in the Pierian district at the foot of Olympus and of Helicon in Boeotia are usually mentioned as the original founders of this worship. At both these places were their oldest sanctuaries. According to the general belief, the favourite haunts of the Muses were certain springs, near which temples and statues had been erected in their honour: Castalia, at the foot of Mount Parnassus, and Aganippe and Hippocrene, on Helicon, near the towns of Ascra and Thespiae. After the decline of Ascra, the inhabitants of Thespiae attended to the worship of the Muses and to the arrangements for the musical contests in their honour that took place once in five years. They were also adored in many otherplaces in Greece. Thus the Athenians offered them sacrifices in the schools, while the Spartans did so before battle. As the inspiring Nymphs of springs they were early connected with Dionysus; the god of poets, Apollo, is looked on as their leader (Musagetes), with whom they share the knowledge of past, present, and future. As beings that gladden men and gods with their song, Hesiod describes them as dwelling on Olympus along with the Charites and Himeros. They were represented in art as virgin goddesses with long garments of many folds, and frequently with a cloak besides; they were not distingnished by special attributes till comparatively later times. The Roman poets identified them with the Italian Camence, prophetic Nymphs of springs and goddesses of birth, who had a grove at Rome outside the Porta Capena. (See EGERIA .) The Greeks gave the title of Muses to their nine most distinguished poetesses: Praxilla, Mcero, Anyte, Erinna, Te1esilla, Corinna, Nossis, Myrtis, and Sappho.
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