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TWELVE TABLES 100.00%
 
TABLE 53.81%
 
ABACUS 37.37%
A mathematician's table strewn with fine sand, on which figures were drawn with a stilus.
 
THEON 35.71%
Of Alexandria. One of the last members of the Alexandrian Museum, born about 365 A.D. He is the author of a commentary on Euclid and on the astronomical tables of Ptolemaeus.
 
CLEPSYDRA 33.99%
A water-clock, or earthenware vessel filled with a certain measure of water, and having a hole in the bottom of a size to ensure the water running away within a definite space of time. Such water-clocks were used in the Athenian law courts, to mark the time allotted to the speakers. They were first introduced in Rome in 159 B.C., and used in the courts there in the same way. In the field they were used to mark the night-watches. The invention of the best kind of water-clock was attributed to Plato. In this the hours were marked by the height of the water flowing regularly into a vessel. This was done in one of two ways. (1) A dial was placed above the vessel, the band of which was connected by a wire with a cork floating on the top of the water. (2) The vessel was transparent, and had vertical lines drawn upon it, indicating certain typical days in the four seasons or in the twelve months. These lines were divided into twelve sections, corresponding to the position which the water was experimentally found to take at each of the twelve hours of night or day on each of these typical days. It must be remembered that the ancients always divided the night and day into twelve equal hours each, which involved a variation in the length of the hours corresponding to the varying length of the day and night.
 
ALEXANDER 30.20%
Alexander of Tralles in Lydia, a Greek physician, lived in the 6th century A.D. at Rome, and made a careful collection from older writers on therapeutics, in twelve books.
 
LARES 23.97%
The Latin name for the good spirits of the departed, who even after death continue to be active in bringing blessing on their posterity. The origin of the worship of the Lares is traced to the fact that the Romans buried their dead in their own houses, until it was forbidden by the laws of the Twelve Tables. Every house had individually a lar familiaris, who was the " lord " tutelary spirit of the family; his chief care was to prevent its dying out. His image, habited in a toga, stood between the two Penates, in the lararium or shrine of the Lares, beside the household hearth, which in early days was in the atrium; the group as a whole was also commonly called either the Lares or the Penates. The ancient Roman and his children saluted it daily with a morning prayer and an offering from the table; for, after the chief meal was over, a portion of it was laid on the fire on the hearth. When the hearth and the Lares were not in the eating-room, the offering was placed on a special table before the shrine. Regular sacrifices were offered on the calends, nones, and ides of every month and at all important family festivities, such as the birthday of the father of the family, the assumption by a son of the toga virilis, the marriage of a child, or at the reception of a bride, or the return of any member of the family after a long absence. On such occasions the Lares were covered with garlands and cakes and honey; wine and incense, and animals, especially swine, were offered up. Out of doors the Lares were also honoured as tutelary divinities, and in the chapels at the cross-ways (compita) there were always two lares compitales or vicorum (one for each of the intersecting roads) which were honoured by a popular festival (Compitalia) held four times a year (cp. cut). Augustus added to the Lares the Genius Augusti, and commanded two regular feasts to be held in honour of these divinities, in the months of May and August. Further, there were Lares belonging to the whole city (lares proestites). They were invoked with the mother of the Lares, also called Lara, Larunda, or Mania (q.v.), and had an ancient altar and temple to themselves in Rome. The Lares were invoked as protectors on a journey, in the country, in war, and, on the sea. In contrast to these good spirits we have the Larvae (q.v.).
 
ATTA 22.52%

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A Roman dramatic poet, author of togatoe (see COMEDY), who died B.C. 77, and was a contemporary of Afranius. He was celebrated for his power of drawing character, especially in conversational scenes in which women were introduced. Of his comedies only twelve titles remain, with a few insignificant fragments.
 
ABACUS 22.11%
A counting-board, on which sums were worked for private and public accounts. The reckoning was done with counters lying on the board (calculi) or with beads sliding in vertical grooves (On the sideboard called Abacus, seeTABLES.)
 
AELIUS 21.69%
Lucius Aelius Stilo Praeconinus, a Roman grammarian born at Lanuvium, about 150 B.C., an eques, and friend of the post Lucilius, to whom lie dedicated his first book of Satires: surnamed Stilo (from stilus, pencil) because he wrote speeches for public men, and Praeconinus because his father was a crier (praeco). He was so strongly attached to the party of Optimates, that in 100 B.C. be voluntarily accompanied Metellus Numidicus into exile. After his return he became the master of Varro and Cicero. Well versed in Greek and Latin literature, he applied himself chiefly to studying the oldest relics of his native tongue, commented on the Liturgies of the Salian priests and the Laws of the Twelve Tables, and earned the honour of having rescued the ancient Latin language from oblivion, and preserved some knowledge of it to posterity. Such scanty remnants of it as have come down to us in glossaries and the like seem to be taken chiefly from his writings, now all lost.
 
JURISPRUDENCE 20.35%

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The science of law is the one branch of Roman literature which had a purely national development. From an early date there were definite legal ordinances in Rome, and shortly after the expulsion of the kings a collection of leges regiae was made by a certain Gaius Papirius. These consisted of archaic customary laws of a strongly sacerdotal character, and arbitrarily attributed to individual kings (known as the Ius Papirianum). However, the foundation of the collective legal life of the Romans was primarily the well known law of the Twelve Tables, B.C. 451-450. (See TWELVE TABLES.) This put an end to the want of a generally known law; for the knowledge of previous legal decisions, like the whole of the judicial procedure, had been hitherto kept in the exclusive possession of the patricians. The administration of the law remained as formerly in the hands of the patricians alone, for they kept from the plebeians all knowledge of the dies fasti and nefasti, i.e. the days on which legal proceedings might or might not be taken, as also the forms of pleading which were regularly employed (legis actiones). The latter were so highly important that the least infraction of them would involve the loss of the cause. This condition of things existed for a long time, until Appius Claudius Caecus drew up a calendar of the days on which causes could be pleaded, and a list of ihe form of pleading. These were made public about 304 B.C. by his secretary, Gnaeus Flavius, after whom they were then called Ius Flavianum. By these means a knowledge of the law became generally attainable. It soon had eminent representatives among the plebeians in the persons of Publius Sempronius Sophus and Tiberius Coruncanius. In ancient days, however, the work of the jurists was purely practical. It was considered an honourable thing for men learned in the law to allow people to consult them (consulere, hence iuris, or iure consulti) either in the Forum or at appointed hours in their own houses, and to give them legal advice (responsa). It was mainly by a kind of oral tradition that the knowledge of law was handed down, as the most eminent jurists allowed younger men to be present at these consultations as listeners (auditores or discipuli). The beginning of literary activity in this department, as in others, dates from the second Punic War. It begins with the earliest exposition of existing law. Sextus Aelius Catus published in 204 B.C. a work named Tripertita (from its being divided into three parts) or Ius Aelianum, which consisted of the text of the laws of the Twelve Tables together with interpretations, and the legal formulae for carrying on suits. From the middie of the 2nd century it became common to make collections of the responsa of eminent jurists, and to use them as a source of legal information. Among others, Marcus Porcius Cato, the son of Cato the Elder, made a collection of this kind. In some families knowledge of the law was in a measure hereditary, as in those of the Aelii, Porcii, Sulpicii, and Mucii. A member of the last family, the pontifex Quintus Milcius Scoevola (died B.C. 82), was the first who, with the aid of the formal precision of the Stoic philosophy, gave a scientific and systematic account of all existing law, in his work, De Iure Civili. Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the contemporary and friend of Cicero, further advanced this new and more methodical treatment of law by his numerous writings and by training up pupils, such as Aulus Ofilius and Publius Alfenus Varus. The former rendered great assistance to Caesar in his scheme for forming the whole of the Ius Civile into a single code. Besides these there were several eminent jurists at the close of the Republic: Gaius Trebatius Testa, Quintus Aelius Tubero, Gaius Aelius Gallus, and Aulus Cascellius. While under the Republic the learned jurist had hold an inferior position to the orator in influence and importance, there is no doubt that under the Empire public eloquence became subordinate, and the position of the jurists was the most coveted end influential in the State, especially when Augustus decreed that the opinions of jurists authorized by the head of the State were to have the validity of law. It was from the jurists as advisers of the emperor that all legislation now proceeded. They had access to all the highest offices of the court and of the State. Accordingly the men of the highest gifts and character betook themselves naturally to this profession, and even introduced into the laws an increased unity, consistency, and systematic order. Under Augustus two jurists were pre-eminent, Quintus Antistius Labeo and Gaius Ateius Capito, the founders of the two later schools, named, after their pupils Sempronius Proculiani and Masurius Sabinus, the Proculiani and Sabini respectively. Labeo sought to extend his professional knowledge, whilst Capito held fast to the traditions of former jurists. The first scientific collection of laws was made under Hadrian by the Sabinian lawyer Salvius Iulianus, with his Edictum Perpetuum, a classified collection of the praetorian edicts from the times of the Republic. (See EDICTUM.) Sextus Pomponius, his somewhat younger contemporary, composed amongst other things a history of the law till the time of Hadrian. Under the Antonines jurisprudence was able to claim a remarkable representative in the Asiatic Gaius, but it received its completion and conclusion in the first half of the 3rd century A.D., through Aemilius Papinianus, Domitius Ulpianus, and Iulius Paulus. After their time there were no jurists of great and original capacity. In the 4th century literary activity revived again, but confined itself to the collection of legal authorities, especially that of imperial ordinances. Thus the Codex Theodosianus, finished in A.D. 438, contains an official record of all the enactments decreed by the emperors from the time of Constantine. Under Justinian I (527-565 A.D.) the last and most complete Roman collection of laws was made, under the name of the Corpus Iuris Civilis (q.v.).
 
FESCENNINI 19.97%

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Rural festivals, of great antiquity, held by the population of Etruria and Latium, and named, from some cause which cannot now be ascertained, from Fescennium in South Etruria. At harvest festivals, at the feast of Silvanus, and others of the kind, and at weddings, the young men would appear in rough masks or with faces painted with vermilion, bantering each other for the amusement of the spectators in rude and indecent jests. These were thrown into a rough kind of metre, originally no doubt the Saturnian. The Italians had at all times a keen sense of the ridiculous, and a love for personal attack; tendencies which were much encouraged by their gift for improvization, and pointed repartee. In Rome these games were taken up by the young men at public festivals, and combined with a comic imitation of the religious dances introduced from Etruria in 390 B.C. to avert a pestilence. In this form they are supposed to have given birth to the dramatic satura. (See SATURA.) The license of personal abuse ended by going so far that it had to be restrained by a law of the Twelve Tables. The Fescennini versus were gradually restricted to weddings, and the word came to mean the merry songs sung when the bride was brought home.
 
PEISANDROS 19.94%
A Greek epic poet of Camirus, in Rhodes, about 640 B.C. He wrote a Heraclea in two books, which is numbered among the better class of epic poems. He was the first to equip Hercules with the club and the lion's hide, and he probably also fixed the number of his labours at twelve. Only uninteresting fragments remain.
 
STATIUS 19.63%
Publius Papinius Statius. A Roman poet, born at Naples about 45 A.D. His father, who afterwards settled in Rome, and was busy there as a teacher, was himself a poet, and the son owed his training to him. Early in life he gained the approval of his contemporaries by his poetic talent, especially in improvisation, and several times won the victory in poetic competitions. Yet he remained all his life dependent on the favour of Domitian and of the great men of Rome, whose goodwill he sought to propitiate by the most servile flatteries. In later life he went back to Naples, where he died about 96. Two epic poems of his are preserved, both dedicated to Domitian, (1) the Thebais in twelve books, published after twelve years' labour in 92, on the struggle of the sons of (Edipus for Thebes, perhaps in imitation of the poem of the same name by Antimachus; and (2) the two first books of an incomplete Arhilleis. We also have his Silvoe, a collection of occasional poems, mostly in hexameters, but partly in lyrical verse. Statius is distinguished among his contemporaries by skill and imagination, but suffers from the tendency of the time to make great display of learning and rhetorical ornament. His poems were much read both in antiquity and in the Middle Ages.
 
EDICTUM 19.60%
The Roman term for any written announcement made by a magistrate to the people. An edictum was sometimes temporary only, as, e.g., the announcements of the public assemblies or games; sometimes it contained permanent enactments, as, for instance, the edicta of the censors against luxury. The name was especially applied to the proclamations issued by judical functionaries on assuming office, and stating the principles or rules which they intended to follow in the exercise of their authority. The edicta of the aediles relative to the markets belong to this class. One kind of edictum was specially important in its bearing upon Roman law, the edictum of the praetor. In his edictum the paetor laid down the rules which he would observe in arranging the proceedings of the regular courts and of his voluntary jurisdiction, and in deciding cases which did not appear to be covered by the written enactments of the Twelve Tables, or later legislation. These edicta, written on wood, stone, or bronze, were in early times published only as occasion required, but in later times the praetors regularly promulgated them on entering upon their office. They prevented the fossilization of the law, and allowed the enactments of the Twelve Tables to adapt themselves in natural development to the changing circumstances of civic life and intercourse. It is true that the edicta had no force beyond the praetor's year of office, but, as every new praetor observed what was found in the edicta of his predecessors, a permanent nucleus of constantly repeated rules, called edictum perpetuum (or continuous edict), was formed in course of time. This became, for the later period, a recognised source of customary law, side by side with the leges proper. At length, under Hadrian, the mass of edicta was reduced to system by Salvius Julianus, and received the force of law at the imperial command. This body of law included the accepted edicta of the praetor urbanus and the other praetors administering law in the provinces, of the proconsuls, propraetors, and aediles, It was called edictum perpetuum, ius, proetorium, or ius honorarium, the latter because its authors had held public offices (honores). On this collection the Corpus Iuris of Justinian is in great part founded. The emperor and imperial officials, as proefectus urbi and proefectus proetorio, had also the right of issuing edicta.
 
MEALS 18.47%
 
BURIAL 17.90%

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Roman. The worship of the dead among the Romans had, characteristically enough, a legal tinge, and formed a part of the pontifical law, which regulated the place and manner of the interment. The theory of the Romans, like that of the Greeks, was that there was an obligation to bury every dead body, except those of felons, suicides, and persons struck by lightning. Any one finding a corpse was expected at least to throw some earth upon it as a symbol of burial. The first duty of a man's survivors was to bury his body; if he died in a foreign country, the act had to be performed symbolically. If this duty was neglected, the offender incurred a taint of guilt from which he had to purify himself by an annually repeated atonement. After death the eyes and mouth were closed, the body bathed in hot water and then anointed fully dressed, and adorned with the fitting insignia in case of the deceased having held high office. The corpse was then laid out on a state-bed in the atrium, the feet turned towards the door. Near the bed were pans with burning odours, while in the vestibulum, branches of pine and cypress were put up as signs of mourning. The custom of putting a coin in the mouth is not mentioned in literature before the imperial period; but the relics found in tombs show that it is much older. It was, however, only under the Empire that it became general. In ancient times funerals took place after nightfall and by torchlight; and this was always the case with second burials, and if the deceased was a child, or a person of slender means. Hence the use of torches was never discontinued, even when the ceremony took place by day. It was held indispensable at every funeral, and became, in fact, the symbol of burial. The usual time at which funerals took place among the upper classes was the forenoon of the eighth day after death. In the laws of the Twelve Tables an attempt was made to check excess in funeral expenses, but with as little success as attended later enactments. If the funeral was one of unusual ceremony, the citizens were publicly invited by a herald to attend it. The arrangements were entrusted to a special functionary, who was assisted by lictors. The procession was headed by a band of wind instruments, the number of which was limited by the Twelve Tables to ten. In ancient times, and at least down to the Punic wars, these musicians were followed by professional female singers, chanting the praises of the dead (see NENIA). Then came a company of dancers and actors to amuse the spectators with their antics. Supposing the family was honorata, in other words, had it had one or more members who had held curule offices, and the consequent right of setting up masked statues of its forefathers in its house, the central point of the ceremony was the procession of ancestors. This consisted of persons dressed to represent the ancestors in their wax masks, their official robes, and other insignia. The indirect lines of relationship were represented as well as the direct. Each figure was mounted on a high carriage and preceded by lictors. The train included memorials of the deeds done by the deceased, torchbearers, and lictors with lowered fasces. The body followed, uncovered, on an elevated couch; sometimes in a coffin inside the bier. A wooden figure, clothed, and wearing the wax mask representing the dead, sat upright beside it in the attitude of life. The bearers were usually the sons, relations and friends of the deceased; in the case of emperors, they were senators and high officials. Behind the bier came the other mourners, men and women, the freedmen in mourning and without any ornaments. Arrived at the Forum, the bier was set down before the rostrum. The representatives of the ancestors sat down on wooden chairs; the rest arranged themselves in a circle round, while a son or kinsman ascended the rostrum and delivered a panegyric upon the dead. If the funeral was a public one, the orator was appointed by the senate. In the case of deceased ladies such speeches were not usual, until the last century of the Republic. After the speech, the procession moved on in the same order to the place of burial, which, according to the law of the Twelve Tables, must be situated outside the city. No one could be buried within the city but men of illustrious merit, as, for instance, generals who had won a triumph, and Vestal Virgins. By a special resolution of the popular assembly, these persons were allowed the honour of burial in the Forum. The tombs were in some cases situated on family estates, but the greater number formed a line extending from the gates of the city to some distance along the great roads, and especially the Via Appia. (Comp. fig. 4.) Burial was, among the Romans, the oldest form of disposing of the corpse. In certain families (e.g. the gens Cornelia), it long continued the exclusive custom. Infant children, and poor people in general, were always buried. Even when the body was burnt, an old custom prescribed that a limb should be cut off and buried, otherwise the family was not regarded as having discharged its obligations. The body was laid in its tomb in full dress, and placed in a special sarcopbagus. When the body was to be burnt, a pyre was erected on a specified place near the grave. The pyre was sometimes made in the form of an altar, and adorned in the costliest manner. The couch and the body were laid upon it, and with them anything which the deceased person bad used or been fond of, sometimes one of his favourite animals. The followers threw in a variety of gifts as a last remembrance. The pyre was then kindled by the nearest kinsman and friends, who performed the office with averted faces. The ashes were extinguished with water or wine, and the procession, after saying a last farewell, returned home, while the nearest of kin collected the ashes in a cloth and buried the severed limb. After somedays, the dry ashes were put by the nearest relations into an urn, which was deposited in deep silence in the sepulchral chamber, which they entered ungirt and bare-footed. After the burial or burning there was a funeral feast at the tomb. A sacrifice to the Lares purified the family and the house from the taint entailed by death. The mourning was ended on the ninth day after the burial by a sacrifice offered to the Manes of the dead, and a meal of eggs, lentils and salt, at which the mourning attire was laid aside. It was on this day that the games held in honour of the dead generally took place. (See MANES.) Everything necessary for the funeral was provided by contract by the libitinarii or officials of the temple of Libitina, at which a notification was made of all cases of death (see LIBITINA). There were public burial-places, but only for slaves and those who were too poor to buy burial-places for themselves. The bodies were thrown promiscuously into large common graves, called puticuli, or wells, on account of their depth. There was a burial place of this sort on the Esquiline, where the bodies of criminals were thrown to the dogs and birds, until Maecenas laid out his park there. Cheap and promiscuous burial was also provided by the so-called "dove-cots" or columbaria, a place in which could be purchased by persons of scanty means (see COLUMBARIUM). The graves of individuals and families were subterranean chambers, or buildings in the style of houses. Freedmen, and probably also clients and friends, were often buried with the family. The grave was regarded by the Romans and Greeks alike as the dwelling-place of the dead, and was accordingly decked out with every imaginable kind of domestic furniture. It is to this custom that we owe the preservation of so many remains of this sort. The monument often had a piece of land, with field and garden attached to it, surrounded by a wall, and intended to supply flowers, herbs, and other things necessary for the decoration of the tomb and maintenance of the attendants. Other buildings would often be attached, for burning the corpses, for holding the funeral feast, and for housing the freedmen who had the care of the spot. Inscriptions in verse and prose, giving information about the dead, would also be found there.
 
TRICLINIUM 17.88%
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.
 
EURYSTHEUS 17.20%

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Son of Sthenelus and Nioippe. (See PERSEUS.) He was king of Mycenae, and through the cunning of Hera got power over Heracles, and imposed upon him the celebrated twelve labours. In pursuing the children of Heracles, and attempting to bring about by force their expulsion from Attica, he was defeated and slain in his flight by Hyllus. (See HYLLUS.)
 
MACROBIUS 16.62%
A man of high rank, and, according to his own account, not a born Roman, and probably a pagan, who wrote, in the beginning of the 5th century after Christ, two extant works. (1) a commentary on Cicero's Dream of Scipio (Somnium Scipionis, from the sixth book of the De Republica); and (2) an antiquarian compilation in seven books, treating of a number of historical, mythological, grammatical, and antiquarian subjects, in the form of table talk, at a celebration of the Saturnalia; hence the title, Convivia Saturnalia. Macrobius has gathered his information from various authors, especially Gellius, whom, however, he does not mention any more than his other authorities.
 
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gutter splint
gutter splint
PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
gutter splint