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The Roman dining-table of four sides, with three low couches (lecti) placed round it so as to leave the fourth side free for the servants (see plan). The lecti, arranged for three persons each, were broad, cushioned places, lower towards the outside and sloping upwards with a side support; on each of the three places was a pillow, on which the diners, as they lay at table, supported themselves with their left arm, their feet being towards the outside. The allotment of the nine places was made in accordance with strict rules of etiquette. The middle couch, lectus medius, and the one on its left, lectus summus (the highest), were appointed for the guests, the former for the most distinguished guests; that on its right, lectus imus (the lowest), was for the host, his wife, and a child or a freedman. On the lectus summus and imus, the place of honour (locus summus) was on the left side, on which was the support of the couch, and consequently the most convenient seat. The place appointed for the chief person of the company, the locus consularis, was, however, on the lectus medius, and not on the left, but on the right and unsupported side, next that of the host, who took the first place of the lectus imus. For the tables of costly citrus-wood with round tops, and similar tables, which were introduced towards the end of the Republic, a peculiar crescent-sbaped couch was used. This was called sigma from its shape C, one of the forms of the Greek letter bearing that name. It was also called stibadium, and as a rule was suitable only for five persons. On the sigma the places of honour were the corner-seats, the first place being that on the "right wing" (in dextro cornu), the second that on the left (in sinistro cornu); the remaining seats were named from this onward, so that the last was on the left side of the first. The dining-room itself was also called triclinium, even when it contained several dining-tables. Romans of distinction in later times had several such rooms for different times of the year; in the winter they dined in the interior of the house by lamp-light, in summer in an arbour attached to the house or in the upper story.
BEDS 24.59%
The Greek and Latin words were applied not only to beds in the proper sense of the term, but to any kind of couch, as, for instance, to the sofas used at meals (see TRICLINIUM) or for reading and writing. The frame rested on four feet, and sometimes had no support at all, sometimes one for the head, sometimes one at each end for head and feet, sometimes one at the side. It was made of wood or bronze, and was usually richly adorned on the parts exposed to view. If of wood, these ornaments would consist of inlaid work of fine metal, ivory, tortoiseshell, amber, and rare coloured woods ; if of bronze, they would be sculptures in relief. The mattress (Gk. knephallon, tyleion, Lat. torus, culcita) was supported on girths stretched across the frame, and was stuffed with vegetable fibre, woollen flock, or feathers, and covered with linen, wool, or leather. Cushions were added to support the head or elbow (Gk. proskephalaion, Lat. pulvinus or cervical). Coverings for the sleeper were spread over the mattrass, which in wealthy houses would be dyed purple, or adorned with patterns and embroidery. If the bed was high, it would have a footstool attached. At Pompeii couches have often been found built up in the niches of the sleeping apartments. (For various forms of Greek bedsteads, see the engravings.) Cp. FULCRA.
HOUSE 7.64%
The Greek house (see plan, fig. 1) was divided into two chief parts, one of which was assigned to the men (andronitis) and the other to the women (gynaikonitis or gynaikeion). The women's division was situated at the back of the house, and sometimes in the upper story if there was one. The door of the house opened inwards. It was placed sometimes in a line with the facade, sometimes in a small recess called the prothyron or propylaion. In front of this there often stood an altar belonging to the house and consecrated to Apollo Agyieus, or the god of streets. In the interior, on both sides of the vestibule, were the doorkeeper's room and other chambers for work and business. The vestibule led into an open court (aule) surrounded on three sides with columns. In the middle of this was the altar of Zeus Herkeios, the patron deity of domestic life. At the sides were chambers for eating and sleeping, storerooms, and cells for slaves, which, like the front rooms, opened into the court. But the slaves sometimes lived in an upper story, co-extensive with the whole house. On the side of the court opposite the vestibule there were no columns, but two pilasters at some distance from each other marked the entrance of a hall called prostas or parastas, which measured in breadth two-thirds of the distance between the pilasters. Here the family met at their common meals and common sacrifices; here, too, in all probability stood the hearth or sanctuary of Hestia. On one side of the parastas was the thalamos or sleeping room for the master and mistress of the house. On the other side was the amphithalamos, where the daughters probably slept. In the under wall of the parastas was a door called metaulos or mesaulos, which led into the workroom of the female servants. Large houses bad a second court, peristylon, entirely surrounded by columns. The roof of the Greek house was generally, though not always, flat; the rooms were mostly lighted through the doors which opened into the court. The ancient Roman dwelling house (fig. 2) consisted of a quadrangular court called atrium (from ater, black), because the walls were blackened by the smoke from the hearth. The atrium was entered by the door of the house, and was the common meeting place for the whole family. It was lighted by an opening in the tiled roof, which was four-sided and sloped inwards. This opening was called the compluvium, and served both as a chimney for the hearth and as an inlet for the rain, which fell down into the impluvium, a tank sunk in the floor beneath. There was also, in more ancient times, a subterranean cistern (puteus) into which the rain out of the impluvium was collected. But in later times the water was carried off by pipes underground. At the back of the impluvium was the hearth with the Penates. At the side of the atrium was the room used for cooking, for meals, and for sacrifices. In the wall fronting the entrance was the marriage-bed and the master's money-chest. The mistress of the house sat in the atrium with her maids, spinning, weaving, and generally superintending the household. It was in the atrium that the family received their clients and friends, that the dead were laid out in state, and memorials of the departed were hung on the wall. Gradually it became the fashion to attach small rooms to the two sides as far as the hearth. These rooms had no light except that obtained from the atrium. But the space at the back was left quite free, and extended in its full width in two wings (aloe) behind these side chambers on right and left. In aristocratic houses the busts of the ancestors were set up in these wings. The marriagebed was also removed from the wall against which it stood; the wall was broken through, and the tablinum erected against it originally a wooden shed, which This was open at the back in summer, but closed in winter by a partition. The tablinum was used as the master's office. In later times a garden, surrounded. by side buildings and covered colonnades, was added at the back of the house. This was called peristylium, and was, as the name and the whole plan of it shows, an imitation of the Greek arrangement. The dining rooms, sleeping apartments, and living rooms (triclinium, cubiculum, dioeta) were transferred into the side buildings, as were also the entertaining room (exedra) and the hall (oecus), and above all the storerooms, hearth, and kitchen. The private chapel (sacrarium or lararium, see LARES) was also generally situated in the peristylium. The entrance into this from the atrium was through corridors (fauces) situated near the tablinum. The atrium now served merely as a state reception-room. It was splendidly decorated with pillars and other ornaments, and had a table (curtibulum) in the middle to represent the hearth. If the roof was simply supported on beams, the atrium was called tuscanicum (fig. 3); if the compluvium was supported on four columns, tetrastylum; if the roof-beams were let into the wall on one side, and supported on a column apiece on the other, it was styled corinthium. Great houses, like temples and large tombs, generally had a kind of entrance-hall or vestibalum [ve, stabulum, or an outside standing-place], raised above the street and approached by steps. This space was often adorned with arms taken in war, statues, colonnades, and flower-beds. It was here that visitors assembled for morning calls. In ordinary houses there was either no vestibulum or only an indication of one, effected by throwing the door a few steps back into the house. The door opened outwards, and generally consisted of two wings; but sometimes, if the entrance was a wide one, of several folds. It did not move on hinges, but on pegs let into the threshold above and below. The door led immediately into the ostium, a space opening directly into the atrium. At the side of the ostium was the room of the doorkeeper (ianitor,) with other rooms, which were sometimes let out as shops. The Roman house was originally calculated only for one story, but in course of time a second story became usual. As the dining-room was generally in this part of the house, all the rooms in the upper story were called cenacula. The upper story was approached by steps in the form of a ladder, and was lighted by openings which could be closed by shutters. Some of these windows were pierced in the outer wall, and some in the inner wall, carried round the roofs of the atrium and peristylium. There were three-storied houses in Rome as early as the end of the Republic. The upper stories were let to tenants, and as early as the time of Augustus it was found necessary to limit the height of the street frontage to 70 Roman feet, a maximum which was afterwards lowered to 60 feet. The roof was of tiles, and sometimes pointed and sloping on the four sides, sometimes flat, in which case it was often ornamented with flowering plants and shrubs. A flat roof of this sort was called solarium. The ancients heated their houses by means of portable fireplaces, braziers, and sometimes stoves. The Romans in the north of Italy, Gaul, and Germany used hot air for the purpose. (See BATHS.) Large lodging-houses were found both in Greek and Roman cities, the Greek name for such a house being synoikia and the Latin name insula.
MEALS 7.06%
The GREEKS had three during the day; (1) the first breakfast, acratisma, consisting of bread which was dipped into unmixed wine; (2) the second breakfast, or luncheon, ariston, eaten about noon and consisting of warm dishes; and (3) the principal meal, deipnon, which took place before sunset. In the Homeric times, men sat down when eating, a custom preserved by the Cretans. In later times men reclined at the table, usually only two together on a couch (Gr. kline), in such a way that the left arm was supported on a cushion while the right arm remained free. The women and children, who were, however, excluded from real banquets, sat on stools; the former might also sit on the couch at their husbands' feet. Before the meal, slaves took off the sandals of the guests and washed their feet; water and a towel was then handed to them for washing their hands, and this was repeated after the meal, as no knives and forks were used; there were only spoons, usually of metal. While eating thev cleaned their hands with the crumb of bread or with a kind of dough. The common food of the lower classes was the maza, a pastea of barleymeal dried in a dish, and moistened before it was eaten; properly baked bread of wheatmeal was considere a comparative delicacy. As relish (opson) they had salad, leeks, onions, beans, lentils, and meat variously prepared; and especially fish, mostly from the sea, which in later times formed the chief object of the gourmand's attention. After the meals the tables were cleared away (every pair of guests usually having a table to itself), the remnants that had fallen to the ground were swept up, and the hands were washed with scented soap; then a libation of unmixed wine was drunk in honour of the good genius (see AGATHODAeMON)-none was served during the meal-and the hymn of praise (see PAeAN) was sung. After the tables had been changed and the dessert, consisting of fruit, cheese, cakes sprinkled with salt, etc., had been served, the symposium, or the drinking-bout, began. The wine was diluted with warm or cold water; in the latter case snow was frequently used to cool it. It was deemed barbarous to drink unmixed wine, and a mixture of equal parts of wine and water even was uncommon, the usual proportion of water to wine was 3:1. They were mixed in a large bowl (krater), from which it was poured into the goblets by means of a ladle. First three mixing-bowls were filled, and from each of them a libation was offered, the first to the gods of Olympus, the second to the heroes, the third to Zeus the Saviour. How the drinking was to be carried on (e.g. how many goblets each guest should have) was settled by a president, who was chosen by the others or by casting the dice, and called the king (basileus) or master of the feast (symposiarchus); he also enforced penalties, such as emptying a goblet at a single draught. The guests amused themselves with merry talk and riddles, impromptu songs (see SCOLIA), games, more especially the cottabus (q.v.), mimetic dances, the playing of women on flutes and lyres, etc. The bout was terminated by a libation to Hermes. For the meals of the Spartans, cp. SYSSITIA. The ROMANS also had three meals during the day. Breakfast, ieiunium or iantaculum, at about 9; followed in early times by the principal meal (cena) at 12, and by the vesperna in the evening; but afterwards the multiplied occupations of city life, that extended over the early hours of the afternoon, necessitated a different arrangement; lunch, prandium, was accordingly taken at noon, and the cena after bathing, at about 3. The ieiunium consisted of bread dipped in wine or eaten with honey, salt, or olives, the prandium of a plentiful supply of warm and cold viands, with wine. At the cena originally nothing was eaten but the peculiarly Roman puls, a kind of porridge, and other simple food, especially common vegetables; meat was not usually eaten, and prolonged dinners were only permissible on grand occasions. From the 2nd century B.C. onwards the importation of dainties from every country to Rome made extravagance in eating so universal that it was vainly attempted to check it by law, and at the same time the cena was prolonged over the whole of the latter end of the day; it was looked upon as a remarkable instance of economising time, when it was told of a man like the older Pliny that he only spent three hours reclining at table [Letters of the Younger Pliny, iii 5 § 13]. In the course of time reclining had been substituted for sitting in the case of men, as in Greece; women and children sat at meals, but (unlike the Greek custom) they shared them, even when invited guests were present, the women sitting on the couch (lectus) of the master of the house, the children by their side or at a separate table and on stools. Masters and servants originally had their meals in common in the atrium; as time went on special dining-rooms, triclinia (see TRICLINIUM) were built. At a banquet (convivium) the very lightest dress was worn, in which it was not considered correct to appear in the street, and sandals (soleoe), which were taken off by a slave, brought for this purpose, before one reclined, and what, was called the synthesis (q.v.). Before the meal, and between courses, water was banded round for the hands. Napkins (mappoe) came to be used in the reign of Augustus, but only at fashionable parties. As among the Greeks, no knives and forks, but only spoons, were used; the viands were out up by a special slave, the scissor. The dishes of which the various courses consisted were served on a tray (repositorium) and handed round by slaves. The meal, preceded by an invocation of the gods, was regularly divided into three parts: (1) the gustus or gustatio, also called promulsis, because a drink (mulsum) made of must and honey was handed round with the food (boiled eggs, salads, vegetables prepared in a way to stimulate the appetite, fresh or cooked crabs, etc., and salt fish). (2) The cena proper. Originally (and later also among people of small means) it only consisted of a single course, afterwards of three and more, which were distinguished by the names of prima, altera, tertia cena. During this-contrary to the Greek custom-wine was drunk, though in moderate quantities, and mixed with warm or cold water to suit the taste of each guest. Then came a pause, in which all were asked to be silent while the offering was made to the Lares, and (3) the third part of the meal, the dessert, was served. It consisted of pastry, cakes, fresh and preserved fruits. Roman luxury prescribed the greatest variety in the dishes of the cena, both with regard to their nature and to their mode of preparation. In early times only oil, honey, salt, and vinegar, but afterwards the most varied and piquant spices of other countries, and particularly foreign fishsauces, were employed. Pork had always been a favourite meat; fifty ways of dressing it were known. Under the Empire, when a dish was so prepared that even a gourmand was puzzled to tell what he was eating, it was held to be a chef d'oeuvre of the culinary art. The art was practised by slaves, for whom considerable prices were paid. The later Romans were on the whole much more immoderate in eating and drinking than the Greeks; a not unusual way of making further eating possible was to take an emetic in the morning, or else after bathing, or after the meals. After the cena, either at the dessert or not till later in the evening, the drinking proper, or comissatio began. It was done more Groeco, that is, according to the Greek manner: the guests were anointed and crowned with wreaths, and one was chosen by casting dice to be the master of the drinking (magister or arbiter bibendi), also called rex (or king), who regulated the proportion of water to wine, and the number of goblets each person was to drink. As a rule the wine was mixed with warm water, as this was considered more wholesome. Many, however, preferred the cold mixture, and drank it with ice, or else cooled it in cold water. Conversation, varied with the music of the flute and the lyre, was held by the earlier Romans to constitute the charm of dining; at a later time, intellectual pleasures gradually declined in favour more and more, and there was an ever-increasing craving for the exciting entertainments of mimes, jesters, jugglers, and female singers, dancers and flute players, who were mostly slaves of the family. Even the Campanian custom of witnessing gladiatorial combats during meals was adopted in a few Roman houses. The development of these baneful habits was all the more deplorable in its effects, as the women and children were present at the debauches of the table.
Type: Standard
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