Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

Manual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions online

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Meadows, prata, were cultivated for mowing; they seem to have yielded two crops

of hay,/ce?ufm. The breeding of cattle was an object of attention usually included

under husbandry ; chiefly, oxen, horses, sheep, and goats. Much care was also be-
stowed on bees {apes). Trees, also, both forest, fruit and ornamental, received tlieir
share of attention. The Romans were acquainted with most of the various methods
now practiced for propagating the different species and varieties. — But the culture of
the vine finally took the precedence of all other cultivation (cf % 331 b).

Respecting the attention paid by the Romans to agriculture as a science, and the care taken
in defining the boundaries of lands by means of professional surveyors {agrimensores), see P. V.
$ 4S3— 489. cf. P. II. $ 91. 1.

2. Among the agricultural instruments the plow, arafrum, ranks first; its chief
parts were the te7no, beam, to which the jugum or yoke for the oxen was attached :
stiva, plow-tail or handle, having on its end a cross-bar (manicula) of which the
plowman took hold to direct the instrument; buris, a crooked piece of wood between
the beam and plowshare ; dentale or de7is, the piece of timber which was joined to
the buris and received on its end the share ; vomer, the share ; aures, affixed to the
huris, and answering to mold-boards to throw the earth back ; culler, the colter. The
rallum was a staflf used for cleaning the plow, or beating off" clods from it. In some
plows wheels were attached ; but the plow most commonly used was more simple,

having neither colter nor mold-boards. Other instruments were the ligo, spade ; ba-

tdlus, shovel; rastrum,rake ; sarculum, hoe or weeding-hook ; bidens, a sort of hoe,
with two hooked iron teeth ; occa and irpex, different kinds of harrows ; marra, a mat-
tock or hoe for cutting out weeds; dolabra, a sort of adz ; securis, ax; falx, pruning-

knife; falx messoria and falcula, sickle. The implements for beating out grain

were the perticcB, a sort of flails; traha, a sort of sledge; tribula, a board or beam,
set with stones or pieces of iron, v/ith a great weight laid upon it, and drawn by yoked
cattle. These were all used upon the threshing-floor, area, which was a round space,
elevated in the center; sometimes paved wuh stone, but commonly laid with clay
carefully smoothed and hardened. Sometimes the threshing was done by merely
driving oxen or horses over the grain spread on this floor, as among the Greeks and



Trr"rrr: :L4AA;XAlf

^i -^ i^i


In Plate XXXII., fig. ii. exhibits the Roman plow ; T is the temo ; B, the stiva ; A, points to
the aures on the huris ; D, to the dentale ; V, is the vonier ; C, the culter. In fig. iii. are seen
forms of the Syrian plow, cf. $ 172. 3.— On the Roman plow, cf. Dickson, as ciled P. V. $489. 3.

Fig. 8, in Plate XXXII. is a cut showing varieties of the falx, pnuiing-knife, and sickle.

Fig. 5 is from an Egyptian monument, and shows the use of the sickle in cutting wheat in the

field. fig. 7 is a Persian drag, for the purpose of threshing grain; a roller with teeth, fitted

60 as to be drawn by cattle over the grain ; it is taken from Sir R. K. Porter.— Fig. iv. is another
instrument for the s'ame purpose, taken from Mithuhr ; it has three wheels wilh iron teeth, or
with serrated edges, drawn by cattle, the driver sitting on it. These figures may partially illus-
trate the Roman traha and tribulu. Pontedera, Antiquitatum Rusticarum, &c. Paiuv."l738.

3. The carriages used for agricultural purposes were chiefly the plaustra or vehcB,
which had usually two wheels, sometimes four, and were drawn commonly by oxen,
but also by asses and horses. These often had wheels without spokes, called tym-
pana. The body of these carriages (and indeed of any carriage) was termed capsum,
and the draught-tree or beam, temo. The jugum was the yoke, fastened to the beam
and also to the cattle by thongs, lora subjugia — The sarracum was a cart or wagon
used in conveying wood, and the various products of the farm. — Pack-horses (caballi)
were sometimes used for carrying burdens; more frequently asses or mules; called
clifellarii, from the packages {diteltcB) on their backs.

We may remark in this connection, that the Romans had various carriages for con-
venience and amusement. — The chariot, currus, was the most common; always with
two wheels, but either two, three or four, or even six horses. Those with two were
termed bigcs ; those with four, quadrigcB ; in the races, the horses were always yoked
abreast. — The carruca was a sort of private coach of the rich, sometimes of sohd sil-
ver, curiously carved. — The pilentnm, was an easy soft vehicle with four wheels,
used in conveying women to pubhc games and rites. The carpentum was a carriage
with two wheels and an arched covering. The Ihensa was a splendid carriage with
four wheels and four horses, in which the images of the gods were taken to the pul-
vinaria in the Circus, at the Circensian games (^ 233). The cisiitm was a vehicle
with two wheels, drawn by three mules, used chiefly for travehng. The rheda was a
larger traveling carriage wnh four wheels, — The horses were guided and stimulated
by "the bit {franum) and reins (Jiabencp) and whip ijlagellum). Bells (tintinnabvla)
were sometimes attached to the necks of the chariot-horses in a string similar to those
now used.

Fig. 6, in our Plate XXXI. is an ancient h\ga, preserved in the Vatican at Rome ; it is covered
with leather. Fig. 5 shows a iriga. Fig. 4 is a qnadriga, which very nearly corresponds to a
representation on a medallion (vuminus moduli viaiivii) belonging to the Royal Cabinet at Paris,
on which Augusnis appears holding a standard with the eagle at its lop, and driving four horses.
Cf Montfaiicon, Sup. vol. i. p. (54.

Conveyance was also made on horseback, in which case the spur (calear, Kivrpov, cf Virg-.
Mn. .\i.714) was the stimulus. Saddles of some kind {epliippia, i^ii-mni.v) v.'ere used ; sometime3
perhaps merely of cloth {vestis; yet sometimes consisting, as is now supposed to be
shown by some monumentsi, of a wooden frame, stuffed and covered with a soft material, and
fastened by a girth (cingnlum, lova). Stirrups (sfopjff) weVe also knowna. in later times at least.
— It has been questioned v/hether the ancients used to .sAr-e their horses. But the allusions of the
classical writers seem to indicate clearly the fact that they dida, although, in the remains of
ancient art the shoe is scarcely found, if ever, in the representations of the horse. Some have
supposed that a plate of metarwas attached to the hoof, not by nails, but by some other means.

1 See Ginzrot. Ueber Wiien (" a valuable work on the historj- of Caniages"). 2 Of. Archssulogia, vol. viii. p. 111. as cited

P. IV. § 32. 5. 3 Archsologia, vol. iii p. 35.— See the pa=sa»e from Johnson, given in § 329. 3. Respecting bridles, bits, &c.

cf. B. Clark, Chalinography. Lond. 1S35. On the vehicles of the ancients, Schtffer, Be Re Vehicul.

§ 270. Here will be the place to notice what is most important respecting
the weights and circulating coins of the Romans.

1. The principal Roman weight was the libra or pound. This was divided like the
as, into twelve ounces ; and the parts bore the same names with those of the as, men-
tioned below. "Various weights, both parts and multiples of the pound, were used in
transacting business. They were often made of a black stone which some have
called Li/dius lapis. Scales (LibrcB) and steelyards iJLrutincB), like the modern, were
employed in weighing.

Various specimens of Roman weights are given by Monffaucon, vol. iii. p. lOB, as cited (? 13.
Some are rectangular solids; but most of them are in a degree spherical.— Fig. 7, in our Plate
XXXI. is a steelyard found at Pompeii ; the original has an inscription, bearing a date which cor-
responds to A. D. 77, and asserting that the instrument had been legally tested and proved in the
Capitol. — Fig. 8 is the movable weight belonging to another steelyard found at the same place,
—Roman steelyards and weights have been found also in England. Ci. ArclicBologia, cited P. IV.
$ 32. 5. vol. ix. p. 131.

2 w. Servius Tullitts was the first who caused money to be coined (cf. P. IV. % 134),
by stamping on brass the image of cattle {pecudes whence the term pecunia). Pre-
viously, exchanges were made by barter, or by means of uncoined metal. 1 he most
common brass coin, the as, was originally a Roman pound in weight and was divided
like that into twelve ounces {uncicB). Two uncice made a sextans ; three, a quadrans ;
fotir, a triens ; five, a quincunx ; six, a semis ; seven, seplunx ; eight, bes {his triens);
nine, dodraiis ; ten, decunx ; and eleven, deunx. Afterwards the as was gradually


reduced {Plin. H. N. xxxiii. 3) to an ounce in quantity, and finally even to a half-
ounce. Silver coin was first stamped B. C. 269; the most common coins were the
Denarius, Quinarius, and Sestertius. The Denarius was originally reckoned as
equal to ten pounds of brass, and marked X, or X, but after the reduction of the as
to an ounce, B. C. 217, it passed as equal to sixteen asses. The proper value of it
also varied at different times. The Quinarius was half the Denarius, and marked
V. The Sestertius was a fourth part of the Denarius, and originally equal to 2^
asses (hence its name semis tertius), and marked LLS, i. e. Libra Libra Semis, abbre-
viated IIS or HS. After the reduction of the as to one ounce, the Sestertius passed
for four asses. The Sestertius was often called Nummus. — Gold coin was first stamped
at Rome B. C. 207; the most common coin was the Aureus or Solidus, equal in
weight to two Denarii and a Quinarius, and in value to twenty-five Denaiii.

/. Ward, De Asse et Partibus ejus. Ixind. 1719. 8.—Cardwell, Lectures on the Coinage of the Greeks and Romans.

3. The temple of Juno Moneta was the place of the Roman mint, where their mo-
ney was coined ; the term moneta (whence moiiey) referred originally to the image, or
stamp, impressed on the coin and reminding one of the person or thing represented.
The mint was under the care of the Triumviri monetales ; the coins were examined
by the Nummularii. The impression on the As or Assipondium was a Janus bifrons
on one side and on the reverse the rostrum of a ship ; on the Semis and Quadra7is
(called also Sembella and Teruncius) was a boat instead of the rostrum. The silver
coins Denarius, Quinarius, and Sestertius, often had on one side a chariot with two
or four horses, and on the other the head of Roma with a helmet ; but other devices
were sometimes impressed (cf. P. IV. § 139. 2). — The value of the Denarius was
about 15 cents, as deduced from the experiments of Letronne, who carefully weighed
1350 conswZar denarii ; that of the Sestertius, being one-fourth of it, was therefore
about 3 cents and 8 mills. — The ratio of gold to silver in the republic was about
10 to 1.

E. Brerewood, De Ponderibus et Pretiis Veterum Nummorum. Lond. I6I4. 4.—Monga, sur I'art du Monnoyage chez les anciena
et chez les moderns, &c. in the Mem. de VImtitut, C 1 a 8 3 e d'Hist. et Lit. Anc vol. ix. p. 187. — C<mger, Bockh, as cited 5 174.—
Hustey, as cited § 274. 2.

4. The usual rate of interest {fuenus) was one as for the use of a hundred a month,
or 12 per cent, a year, and was paid monthly on the Calends. It was called usura
centesima, as in a hundred months the interest would equal the capital (caput or sors).
Horace speaks (Sat. i. iii. 12) of a usurer, who took 60 per cent. For money invested
in property exposed at sea {fcenus nauticum) the lender might demand any interest he
liked while the vessel was out ; but after she reached harbor, only the usual rate of
12 per cent. — When a person, borrowing money, pledged himself and property in the
form of a sale, he was said to be nexus ; a person faiUng to discharge his debt within
the legal term was by the law consigned to the creditor, and was then said to be

See Niebuhr, Hist, of Rome, ed. Phil. 1835. vol. i. p. i37.—Hudtwalher, De fcen. nautico Rom. Hamb. ISIO. 4.

^ 271 u. The Romans usually reckoned money by Sestertii. The sum of 1000
Sestertii they called Sestertium ; duo Sestertia, e. g. signifies the same as bis miUe
sestertii. When the sum was ten hundred thousand or over, they used the word Ses-
tertium in the case required, prefixing only the numeral adverb to the first number,
ten, twenty, &c., and leaving the hundred to be supplied by the mind ; e. g. Decies
Stxtertium signified 10, 00, OQO Sestertii; Quadragies Sestertium signified 40,00,000,
or 4 million Sestertii. — They sometimes reckoned by talents, in case of large sums.
The was equal to 60 librce or pounds.

1. Kennet gives the following rule for interpreting the Latin expressions for sums of money:
if a numeral aeree, in case, number, and gender, with Sestertius, then it denotes precisely and
simply so many sesterces; if a numeral of another case be joined with the genitive plural, Ses-
tertitim, it denotes so many thousand sesterces ; if a numeral adverb be joined to the same, or be
used alone, it denotes so many hundred thousand sesterces.

We have on record some statements, from which we may form a notion of the Roman wealth
and luxury. Crassus, for instance, is said to have possessed lands to the value nf bis millies, i.e.
by the above rule, 2000X100,000=200,000,000 sesterces ; takins the value of the sesterce obtained
as mentioned in the preceding section, we have 3.8x200,000.000-:-1000=.5-7,600,000, for the value
of the land owned by Crassus ; he is said to have had, in slaves, buildings, furniture, and money,
as much more. — Caligula laid out upon a single supper, cen^je.v, i.e. 100X100,000 sestHrces =
3.8 X 10,000,000-:-1000=:.$'380,000.— Cleopatra is said to have swallowed, at a feast with Antony,
a pearl worth the same sum, centies HS. — Cicero is said to have had a table which cost centum
sesterti&m, i. e. 100X1.000 sesterces=$3800.

Cf. Adam, Rom. Ant. (ed. Boyd) Edinb. 1834. p. 432.— Perhaps these sums would be much larger, if due allowance were mada
for the depreciation in the value of the precious metals. Cf. Say's Polit. Economy, bk. i. eh. xxi. sect. 7.

2. In the Roman system of notation, seven letters of the alphabet were employed for express-
ing numbers ; viz. I for 1, V for 5, X for 10. L for 50, C for 100, D for 500, and M for 1000. Instead
of D, they sometimes used IC to signify 500 ; and instead of M, they also used J^ or CIC, or O C,
to signify 1000. Sometimes a line drawn oyer a letter indicated that it was to be multiplied by
1000; e. g. X stood for 10,000; L, 50.000; C, 100,000.— Combinations of these letters usually sig-
nified the sum of the numbers represented by the several letters separately ; e.g. VIII, 8; XV. 15,


LX, 60; CX, 110. But when I, V, or X was placed before a letter representing a larger number,
the conibinalion expressed the difference ; e. g. IV, 4 ; XL, 40 ; XC, 90 ; and when to IC another
C was annexed, it indicated a multiplication by 10; eg. IC, 500; ICC, 5000; ICCC, 60,000: in
order to signify the same multiplication of CIC, a C was also prefixed as well as O annexed;
e.g. CI3, 1000,- CClOa, 10,000; CCCIOOO, 100,000. For any muliiple, however, of this last,
100.000, the Romans did not employ letters : but prefixed to this expression a numeral adverb;
as bis, to signify 200,000; lev, to signify 300,000; decies, to signify 10,00,000, &c.

§ 272. It may be in place to speak here of the modes of acquiring or transferring pro
perty {res privatcB), or methods of gaining the ownership {dominium). I'he following
may be named ; 1. Mancipatio, when a regular compact or bargain was made, and the
transfer was attended with certain formahties used among Roman citizens only ; 2. Cessio
i?ijure, when a person transferred his effects to another before the Praetor, or ruler of
a province ; chiefly done by debtors to creditors ; the cessio extra jus was when an
insolvent debtor gave up his property to his creditors ; 3. Usncapio, when one obtained a
thing by having had it in possession and use {usiis auctoritate) ; 4. Emplio sub corona,
the purchasing of captives in war, who were sold at special auction, with garlands
{corona) on their heads ; 5. Audio, pubhc sale or auction ; 6. Adjudicatio, which referred
strictly either to dividing an inheritance among co-heirs or dividing stock among partners,
or setthng boundaries between neighbors, but is applied also to any assignment of pro-
perty by sentence of a judge or arbiter ; 7. Donatio, when any thing was given to one
for a present; 8. Hcereditas, when property was received by inheritance; and this was
either by bequest, from a testator, who could name his heirs in a written will {teslamento)
or in a declaration {viva voca) before witnesses ; or by law, which assigned the property of one
dying intestate to his children and after them to the nearest relatives on the father's side.

^ 273 u. The public sale of property {audio, also called proscriplio) was very common
among the Romans. In the place were such sale was held, a spear was set up, whence
the phrase sub hasta ve?iire or vendere. A notice or advertisement of the goods to be
sold {tabula proscriptionis, tabula auctionaria) was previously suspended upon a pillar in
some public place. Permission for such sales must be obtained of the city Praetor. The
superintendent of the sales was termed magister auctionum: in cases where the sale
was to meet the demands of debt, he was selected by the creditors, and was generally
the one who had the highest claim against the debtor. The sale of confiscated goods
was termed sectio; the money arising therefrom went to the public treasury.

Various distinctions were made of things constituting'property. One, of early origin, and con-
sidered important, was into Res Mancipi and Res j^ec Mancipi; the Ma-ncipi were all
such as could be transferred by the form called Mancipatio ; the JVec Mancipi were such as could
not be thus transferred. Under the iies Mancipi were included /ur7/'A- within Italy Cprccdia rnstica,
also urbana), and in any place which had obtained the jtis Italicum j also slaves ; and quadrvpeds
which were trained to work with back or neck; pearls {murgaritce); and country prfcdial servi-
tudes (or servitutes pradinrvm rnsticorum) . By a praedial servitude was meant a right of making
a particular use of the land of another, as the right of going through it on foot {servitus itineris);
of driving a beast iaciiis); of driving a loaded carriage {vim); of conducting water (aquceductus) ;
making lime {calds coquendce), &c.

On the subject of property among the Romans, see Unterholzen, Ueber die verschiedenen Arleu des Eigenthums, &c. io the Rhein
Mus.—Dirksen, Ueber die gesetzlichen BeschrlnljUDgen des Eigenthun.s, in the Zeitschrift, vol. ii. — Bynkershoth, Opusculum da
Rebus Mancipi et Nee Mancipi.— SaDi»:?ii/, Das Rechl der Besitzes.— S7ni(A, Diet, of Antiq. under Dominium, Mandpalio, frs-
diuni, Servitiis, &c. On the form in auctions, J. Rabirius, De Hastarum et Auctionum Origine, in Grsvius, vol. iii.

^ 274. The principal Roman measures of extent and capacity should be explained here.

i u. The measures of length and surface were the following; digitus, a finger's
breath; four of which made a palmus, or handbreadth ; and sixteen, a pes or loot;
5 feet were equal to a passus or pace; 125 of the latter formed a stadium, and 1 ,000 of
them, or 8 stadia, a milliare. — In land-measures, the following were the most common
denominations ; _;i/^e?-wm, what could be plowed in a day by one yoke (j?/^o) of cattle,
240 feet long, 120 broad, or containing 28,800 square feet ; actus quadratus, equal to
half the jugerum, being 120 feet square and containing 14,400 feet ; clima, equal to an
eighth of the jugerum, 60 feet square, containing 3,600 feet.

The smallest measure of capacity for hquid and for dry things was the ligula, 4 of
which made a cyathus, and 6 an acetabulum; the acetabulum was the half of a quartarius,
which was the half of a hemina; and the hemina, half of a sextarius nearly equal to our
pint. For dry things there was also the Modius, equal to 16 sextarii. In liquids the
sextarius was a sixth of the congius; 4 congii made an urna; two urnae, an amjjhora;
and 20 amphorae, a culeus.

For a fuller view of the subject, the Tables presented in Plate XXXII a. may be consulted.

2. Various methods have been adopted to determine the value of the Roman foot, which is
important in learning the values of the several measures of length, extent, and capacity. 1. One
means is furnished by specimens of the Roman foot on tombstones ; there are four of these pre-
served in the Capitoline Museum. 2. Several foot-rules also have been discovered. The foot-
ruies were hars of brass or iron of the length of a pes, designed for use in actual measurements.
3. The length of the Rotnan foot has likewise been deduced from the distances between the
milestones on the Appian Way. 4. Attempts have been made to ascertain the Roman foot
likewise from the cnnrritts, the measure of capacity, of which two are yet in preservation, one at
Rome, the other at Paris; the solid contents of the congius are said to have been the cube of
half a ves From the same measure, it may be remarked in passing, there have been altenipta





The value in our denominations is given from
Conger's Tables.

Measures of Surface.

1. Below the Versus.

Pes Quadratus

100 I Decempeda Quadratus

400 I 4 I Sextula

480 I 4.8 I 1.2 I Actus Simplex
600 I 6 I 1.5 I 1.25^1 Sidliquus
2400 1 24 I 6 I 3 I 4 | Uncia

3600 1 36 I 9 I 7.5 I 6 1 1.5 | Clima

;*. tq.ft.
I 00.9^
104 69

lOOOOl 100 I 25 |20.83| 16.6 | 4.16 | 2.7 I Versus 34 167.05

2. Above the Versus.

Acres, r. poles, sq.ft.

Vereus 34 167.05

1.44 I Actus Quadratus . . • • * \ Q 229,

■ . . • 2 19 187.

2 I Heredium . • 1 39 101.83

576 I 400 I 200 | 100 | Centuria • • 124 2 17 109.79

2304i~l600^l 800 I 400 | 4 | Saltus • 498 1 29 166.91

2.88 I 2 I Jugerum (As)

5.76 I

Subdivisions of the Jugerum and the Libra.

The Uncia is a 12th part of the Libra and also of the Jugerum;
and ten intervening divisions have the same name.

Uncis I Unciic

8. Bes 11. DeuDX

9. Dodrans 12. Jugerum,
10. Oextrans I and Libra.



2. Sextans

5. Quincunx

3. Quadrans

6. Semis

4. Triens

7 Septunx


Teruncius -

2 I Sembella -

I 2 I As.sipondium > .

** I -^ I As, Libella 5

8 j 4 I 2 j Dupondius

10 I 5 I 2.5 |l.25| Sestertius

I 10 5 I 2 1 I 2 I Quinarius or )
I 10 I 5 I 2.3 [ 2 ^ V.ct oriatus J

I 20 I 10 I 5 j 4 I 2 I Denarius

I I 125 I 100 I 50 I i

00 3.87

• • 7.74

• 1 6.48

• 3 0.95

• 3 8.68

• 7 7.38

• 15 4.76
3 86 8.46


1. Below the Siciliquus.

(Troy Weight.)

3 I Obolus

Dwis. grs.
• 8.76

6 I 2 I Scrupulum • 17.53

12 I 4 I 2 I Semis extula
24 i 8 I 4 I 2 I Sextula

I 12 I 6 I 3 I 1.5 1 Siciliquus -

1 11.06

2 22.13
4 9.19

Siciliquus -
1 3 I Duella

2. Move the Siciliquus.

Lbs. 02. dwts. grs.

4 9 19

5 20.26

I Unci a 17 12.79

. 10 10 9.53 I

87 7 19 17 06

48 I 36 I 12 I Li bra • • •

4800l360o|l2CO| 100 | Centumpodium

Measures of Capacitj-.

1. For Liquids.

Ligula . • • .

4 I Cyath ns

6 I 1.5 I Acetabnlum •
12 I 3 I 2 I Quartariu


48 1 12 1 8


2 1 Sextarius

288 h2 1 48


12 1 6 1 Congius

1152 2S8 1 192


48 1 24 1 4 1 Urna

2304| 5:6 I 384 I f92 I 96 I 48 I 8 I 2 I Amphora

Gall. qts. fts.

2. For Things Dry.


4 1 Cyathus


6 1 1.5 1 Acetabulum ....

12 1 3 1 2 1 Quartarius . . -

24 1 6 1 4 1 2 1 Hemina . . .

48 1 12 1 8 1 4 1 2 1 Sextarius .

384 1 96 1 64 1 32 1 16 1 8 1 Semimodins

768 1 192 1 128 1 64 1 32 1 16 1 2 1 Modius

Twenty Amphorae made a Culeus

Gall. qt.

1. Below the Pes.

Measures of liength.

2. Above the Pes.

Sextula •
1.5 I Sicil iquM
3 I 2 I Semii

4.5 I 3 I 1.5 I Digitus

6 I 4 I

I 1.3 I Unci a . .
18 I 12 I 6 I 4 I 3 IPalm ns
72 I 48 I 24 I 16 I 12 | 4 j Pes

Pes ( 11.64 inches =)
1.25 I Palmipes •
1.5 I 1.2 I Cubitus

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