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Title: Roman Antiquities, and Ancient Mythology - For Classical Schools (2nd ed)
Author: Dillaway, Charles K.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Roman Antiquities, and Ancient Mythology - For Classical Schools (2nd ed)" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

  [Illustration: Pl. 1.]












Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1833, By Lincoln,
Edmands & Co. In the Clerk's office of the District Court of


  No. 1, before the title page.
  2,     before page             27.
  3,     "      "                71.
  4,     "      "                78.
  5,     "      "                82.
  6,     "      "                90.
  7,     "      "               106.
  8,     "      "               133.


The editor has endeavored in the following pages to give some account of
the customs and institutions of the Romans and of ancient Mythology in a
form adapted to the use of classical schools.

In making the compilation he has freely drawn from all creditable
sources of information within his reach, but chiefly from the following:
Sketches of the institutions and domestic customs of the Romans,
published in London a few years since; from the works of Adams, Kennett,
Lanktree, Montfaucon, Middleton and Gesner: upon the subject of
Mythology, from Bell, Spense, Pausanias, La Pluche, Plutarch, Pliny,
Homer, Horace, Virgil, and many others to whom reference has been
occasionally made.

_Boston, July, 1832._

       *       *       *       *       *

In the second edition now offered to the public much has been added to
the department of Antiquities. A more comprehensive chapter upon the
weights, measures and coins of the Romans has been substituted in the
place of the former one, and many other improvements made which it is
hoped will be found acceptable. As it was not thought expedient to
increase the size of the volume, the additions have been made by
excluding the questions.

_Boston, May, 1833._


Chap.                                                              Page.

1.  Foundation of Rome and division of inhabitants                      9
2.  The Senate                                                         13
3.  Other divisions of the Roman people                                18
4.  Gentes and Familiæ, Names of the Romans                            19
5.  Private rights of Roman citizens                                   21
6.  Public rights of Roman citizens                                    23
7.  Places of worship                                                  24
8.  Other public buildings                                             26
9.  Porticos, arches, columns, and trophies                            30
10. Bagnios, aqueducts, sewers, and public ways                        32
11. Augurs and Auguries                                                33
12. Aruspices, Pontifices, Quindecemviri, Vestals, &c.                 34
13. Religious ceremonies of the Romans                                 37
14. The Roman year                                                     39
15. Roman games                                                        42
16. Magistrates                                                        44
17. Of military affairs                                                49
18. Assemblies, judicial proceedings, and punishments of the Romans    53
19. Roman dress                                                        57
20. Fine arts and literature                                           59
21. Roman houses                                                       61
22. Marriages and funerals                                             63
23. Customs at meals                                                   66
24. Weights, measures, and coins                                       67


1. Celestial Gods                                                      71
2. Celestial Goddesses                                                 77
3. Terrestrial Gods                                                    82
4. Terrestrial Goddesses                                               87
5. Gods of the woods                                                   94
6. Goddesses of the woods                                             101
7. Gods of the sea                                                    106
8. Tartarus and its Deities                                           111
9. The condemned in Hell                                              123
10. Monsters of Hell                                                  126
11. Dii Indigites, or heroes who received divine honors after death   128
12. Other fabulous personages                                         146


_Foundation of Rome and Division of its Inhabitants._

Ancient Italy was separated, on the north, by the Alps, from Germany. It
was bounded, on the east and north-east, by the Adriatic Sea, or _Mare
Superum_; on the south-west, by a part of the Mediterranean, called the
Tuscan Sea, or _Mare Inferum_; and on the south, by the _Fretum
Siculum_, called at present the strait of Messina.

The south of Italy, called _Græcia Magna_, was peopled by a colony from
Greece. The middle of Italy contained several states or confederacies,
under the denominations of Etrurians, Samnites, Latins, Volsci,
Campanians, Sabines, &c. And the north, containing _Gallia Cisalpina_
and _Liguria_, was peopled by a race of Gauls.

The principal town of the Latin confederacy was Rome. It was situated on
the river Tiber, at the distance of sixteen miles from its mouth.

Romulus is commonly reported to have laid its foundations on Mount
Palatine, A. M. 3251, B. C. 753, in the third year of the 6th Olympiad.

Rome was at first only a small fortification; under the kings and the
republic, it greatly increased in size; but it could hardly be called
magnificent before the time of Augustus Cæsar. In the reign of the
Emperor Valerian, the city, with its suburbs, covered a space of fifty
miles; at present it is scarcely thirteen miles round.

Rome was built on seven hills, viz. the Palatine, Capitoline, Quirinal,
Esquiline, Viminal, Cælian, and Aventine; hence it was poetically styled
"_Urbs Septicollis_,"--the seven-hilled city.

The greatest number of inhabitants in Rome was four millions; but its
average population was not more than two millions.

The people were divided into three tribes, and each tribe into ten
curiæ. The number of tribes was afterwards increased to thirty-five.

The people were at first only separated into two ranks; the Patrician
and Plebeian; but afterwards the Equites or Knights were added; and at a
later period, slavery was introduced--making in all, four classes:
Patricians, Knights, Plebeians, and Slaves.

The Patrician order consisted of those families whose ancestors had been
members of the Senate. Those among them who had filled any superior
office, were considered noble, and possessed the right of making images
of themselves, which were transmitted to their descendants, and formed
part of their domestic worship.

The Plebeian order was composed of the lowest class of freemen. Those
who resided in the city, were called "_Plebs urbana_;" those who lived
in the country, "_Plebs rustica_." But the distinction did not consist
in name only--the latter were the most respectable.

The _Plebs urbana_ consisted not only of the poorer mechanics and
laborers, but of a multitude of idlers who chiefly subsisted on the
public bounty, and whose turbulence was a constant source of disquietude
to the government. There were leading men among them, kept in pay by the
seditious magistrates, who used for hire to stimulate them to the most
daring outrages.

Trade and manufactures being considered as servile employments, they had
no encouragement to industry; and the numerous spectacles which were
exhibited, particularly the shows of gladiators, served to increase
their natural ferocity. To these causes may be attributed the final ruin
of the republic.

The Equestrian order arose out of an institution ascribed to Romulus,
who chose from each of the three tribes, one hundred young men, the most
distinguished for their rank, wealth, and other accomplishments, who
should serve on horseback and guard his person.

Their number was afterwards increased by Tullus Hostilius, who chose
three hundred from the Albans. They were chosen promiscuously from the
Patricians and Plebeians. The age requisite was eighteen, and the
fortune four hundred sestertia; that is, about 14,000 dollars. Their
marks of distinction, were a horse given them at the public expense, and
a gold ring. Their office, at first, was only to serve in the army; but
afterwards, to act as judges or jurymen, and take charge of the public

A great degree of splendor was added to the Equites by a procession
which they made throughout the city every year, on the 15th day of July,
from the temple of honor, without the city to the Capitol, riding on
horseback, with wreaths of olives on their heads, dressed in the Togæ
palmatæ or trabeæ, of a scarlet color, and bearing in their hands the
military ornaments, which they had received from their general, as a
reward for their valor. At this time they could not be summoned before a
court of justice.

If any Eques was corrupt in his morals, or had diminished his fortune,
the censor ordered him to be removed from the order by selling his

Men became slaves among the Romans, by being taken in war, by way of
punishment, or were born in a state of servitude. Those enemies who
voluntarily surrendered themselves, retained the rights of freedom, and
were called '_Dedititii_.'

Those taken in the field, or in the storming of cities, were sold at
auction--"_sub corona_," as it was called, because they wore a crown
when sold; or "_sub hasta_," because a spear was set up where the
auctioneer stood. These were called Servi or Mancipia. Those who dealt
in the slave trade were called _Mangones_ or _Venalitii_: they were
bound to promise for the soundness of their slaves, and not to conceal
their faults; hence they were commonly exposed for sale naked, and
carried a scroll hanging to their necks, on which their good and bad
qualities were specified.

Free-born citizens could not be sold for slaves. Parents might sell
their children; but they did not on that account entirely lose the right
of citizens, for, when freed from slavery, they were called _ingenui_
and _libertini_. The same was the case with insolvent debtors, who were
given up to their creditors.

There was no regular marriage among slaves, but their connexion was
called contubernium. The children of any female slave became the
property of her master.

Such as had a genius for it were sometimes instructed in literature and
liberal arts. Some of these were sold at a great price. Hence arose a
principal part of the wealth of Crassus.

The power of the master over his slave was absolute. He might scourge or
put him to death at pleasure. This right was often exercised with great

The lash was the common punishment; but for certain crimes they were to
be branded in the forehead, and sometimes were forced to carry a piece
of wood round their necks, wherever they went, which was called _furca_;
and whoever had been subjected to the punishment was ever afterwards
called _furcifer_.

Slaves also, by way of punishment, were often confined in a work-house,
or bridewell, where they were obliged to turn a mill for grinding corn.
When slaves were beaten, they were suspended with a weight tied to their
feet, that they might not move them. When punished for any capital
offence, they were commonly crucified; but this was afterwards
prohibited under Constantine.

If the master of a family was slain at his own house, and the murderer
not discovered, all his domestic slaves were liable to be put to death.
Hence we find no less than four hundred in one family punished on this

Slaves were not esteemed as persons, but as things, and might be
transferred from one owner to another, like any other effects. They
could not appear in a court of justice as witnesses, nor make a will, or
inherit anything, or serve as soldiers, unless first made free.

At certain times they were allowed the greatest freedom, as at the feast
of Saturn, in the month of December, when they were served at table by
their masters, and on the Ides of August.

The number of slaves in Rome and through Italy, was immense. Some rich
individuals are said to have had several thousands.

Anciently, they were freed in three different ways:--1st, _Per censum_,
when a slave with his master's knowledge inserted his name in the
censor's roll. 2d, _Per vindictam_, when a master, taking his slave to
the prætor, or consul, and in the provinces to the pro-consul or
pro-prætor, said, "I desire that this man be free, according to the
custom of the Romans"--and the prætor, if he approved, putting a rod on
the head of the slave, pronounced,--"I say that this man is free, after
the manner of the Romans." Wherefore, the lictor or master turning him
round in a circle, and giving him a blow on the cheek, let him go;
signifying that leave was granted him to go, wherever he pleased. 3d,
_Per testamentum_, when a master gave his slaves their liberty by his


_The Senate._

The Senate was instituted by Romulus, to be the perpetual council of the
republic, and at first consisted only of one hundred, chosen from the
Patricians. They were called Patres, either on account of their age or
the paternal care they had of the state. After the Sabines were taken
into the city, another one hundred was chosen from them by the suffrages
of the curiæ.

Such as were chosen into the Senate by Brutus, after the expulsion of
Tarquin the proud, to supply the place of those whom that king had
slain, were called Conscripti; that is, persons written or enrolled
together with the Senators, who alone were properly called patres.

Persons were chosen into the Senate first by the kings, and after their
expulsion, by the consuls, and by the military tribunes; but from the
year of the city 310, by the censors. At first, only from the
Patricians, but afterwards, also from the Plebeians--chiefly, however,
from the Equites.

Besides an estate of 400, or after Augustus, of 1200 sestertia, no
person was admitted to this dignity but one who had already borne some
magistracy in the Commonwealth. The age is not sufficiently ascertained,
probably not under 30.

The dictator, consuls, prætors, tribunes of the commons and interrex,
had the power of assembling the Senate.

The places where they assembled were only such as had formerly been
consecrated by the augurs--and most commonly within the city. They made
use of the temple of Bellona, without the walls, for the giving audience
to foreign ambassadors, and to such provincial magistrates as were to be
heard in open Senates, before they entered the city, as when they
petitioned for a triumph, and in similar cases. When the augurs reported
that an ox had spoken, which we often meet with among the ancient
prodigies, the Senate was presently to sit, sub dio, or in the open air.

The regular meetings (_senatus legitimus_) were on the Kalends, Nones,
and Ides in every month, until the time of Augustus, who confined them
to the Kalends and Ides. The _senatus indictus_ was called for the
dispatch of business upon any other day except the dies Comitialis, when
the Senate were obliged to be present at the Comitia.

The Senate was summoned anciently by a public officer, named viator,
because he called the Senators from the country--or by a public crier,
when anything had happened about which the Senators were to be consulted
hastily and without delay: but in latter times by an edict, appointing
the time and place, and published several days before. The cause of
assembling was also added.

If any one refused or neglected to attend, he was punished by a fine,
and by distraining his goods, unless he had a just excuse. The fine was
imposed by him who held the Senate, and pledges were taken till it was
paid--but after 60 years of age, Senators might attend or not, as they

No decree could be made unless there was a quorum. What that was is
uncertain. If any one wanted to hinder the passing of a decree, and
suspected there was not a quorum, he said to the magistrate presiding,
"_Numera Senatum_," count the Senate.

The magistrate who was to preside offered a sacrifice, and took the
auspices before he entered the Senate house. If they were not favorable,
or not rightly taken, the business was deferred to another day. Augustus
ordered that each Senator, before he took his seat, should pay his
devotions with an offering of frankincense and wine, at the altar of
that god in whose temple the Senate were assembled, that they might
discharge their duty the more religiously. When the consuls entered, the
Senators commonly rose up to do them honor.

The consuls elect were first asked their opinion, and the prætors,
tribunes, &c. elect, seem to have had the same preference before the
rest of their order. He who held the Senate, might consult first any one
of the same order he thought proper.

Nothing could be laid before the Senate against the will of the consuls,
unless by the tribunes of the people, who might also give their negative
against any decree by the solemn word "_Veto_," which was called
interceding. This might also be done by all who had an equal or greater
authority than the magistrate presiding. If any person interceded, the
sentence was called "_Senatus auctoritas_," their judgment or opinion.

The Senators delivered their opinions standing; but when they only
assented to the opinion of another, they continued sitting.

It was not lawful for the consuls to interrupt those who spoke, although
they introduced in their speeches many things foreign to the subject,
which they sometimes did, that they might waste the day in speaking. For
no new reference could be made after the tenth hour, that is, four
o'clock in the afternoon, according to our mode of reckoning.

This privilege was often abused, but they were forced to stop by the
noise and clamour of the other Senators. Sometimes magistrates, when
they made a disagreeable motion, were silenced in this manner.

The Senators usually addressed the house by the title of "_patres
conscripti_:" sometimes to the consul, or person who presided, sometimes
to both.

A decree of the Senate was made, by a separation of the Senators, to
different parts of the house. He who presided, said, "Let those who are
of such an opinion pass over to that side, those who think differently,
to this." Those Senators who only voted, but did not speak, or as some
say, had the right of voting, but not of speaking, were called
_pedarii_, because they signified their opinion by their feet, and not
by their tongues. When a decree was made without any opinion being asked
or given, it was called "_senatus consultum per discessionem_." But if
the contrary, it was simply called "_Senatus consultum_."

In decreeing a supplication to any general, the opinion of the Senators
was always asked. Hence Cicero blames Antony for omitting this in the
case of Lepidus. Before the vote was put, and while the debate was going
on, the members used to take their seats near that person whose opinion
they approved, and the opinion of him who was joined by the greatest
number was called "_Sententia maxime frequens_."

When affairs requiring secrecy were discussed, the clerks and other
attendants were not admitted: but what passed, was written out by some
of the Senators, and the decree was called tacitum.

Public registers were kept of what was done in the Senate, in the
assemblies of the people, and courts of justice; also of births and
funerals, of marriages and divorces, &c. which served as a fund of
information for historians.

In writing a decree, the time and place were put first; then, the names
of those who were present at the engrossing of it; after that, the
motion with the name of the magistrate who proposed it; to all which was
subjoined what the Senate decreed.

The decrees were kept in the public treasury with the laws and other
writings, pertaining to the republic. Anciently they were kept in the
temple of Ceres. The place where the public records were kept was called
"_Tabularium_." The decrees of the Senate concerning the honors
conferred on Cæsar were inscribed in golden letters, on columns of
silver. When not carried to the treasury, they were reckoned invalid.
Hence it was ordained under Tiberius, that the decrees of the Senate,
especially concerning the capital punishment of any one, should not be
carried there before the tenth day, that the emperor, if absent from the
city, might have an opportunity of considering them, and if he thought
proper of mitigating them.

Decrees of the Senate were rarely reversed. While a question was under
debate, every one was at freedom to express his dissent; but when once
determined, it was looked upon as the common concern of each member to
support the opinion of the majority.

The power of the Senate was different at different times. Under the
regal government, the Senate deliberated upon such affairs as the king
proposed to them, and the kings were said to act according to their
counsel as the consuls did afterwards according to their decrees.

Tarquin the proud, dropped the custom handed down from his predecessors,
of consulting the Senate about everything; banished or put to death the
chief men of that order, and chose no others in their room; but he was
expelled from the throne for his tyranny, and the regal government
abolished, A. U. 243. Afterwards the power of the Senate was raised to
the highest. Everything was done by its authority. The magistrates were
in a manner only its ministers. But when the Patricians began to abuse
their power, and to exercise cruelty on the Plebeians, especially after
the death of Tarquin, the multitude took arms in their own defence, made
a secession from the city, seized on Mons Sacer, and created tribunes
for themselves, who attacked the authority of the Senate, and in process
of time greatly diminished it.

Although the supreme power at Rome belonged to the people, yet they
seldom enacted anything without the authority of the Senate. In all
weighty matters, the method usually observed was that the Senate should
first deliberate and decree, and then the people order.

The Senate assumed to themselves exclusively, the guardianship of the
public religion; so that no new god could be introduced, nor altar
erected, nor the Sybiline books consulted without their order. They had
the direction of the treasury, and distributed the public money at
pleasure. They appointed stipends to their generals and officers, and
provisions and clothing to the armies. They settled the provinces which
were annually assigned to the consuls and prætors, and when it seemed
fit, they prolonged their command. They nominated, out of their own
body, all ambassadors sent from Rome, and gave to foreign ambassadors
what answers they thought proper. They decreed all public thanksgivings
for victories obtained, and conferred the honor of an ovation or triumph
with the title of imperator on their victorious generals. They could
decree the title of king to any prince whom they pleased, and declare
any one an enemy by a vote. They inquired into all public crimes or
treasons, either in Rome or other parts of Italy; and adjusted all
disputes among the allied and dependent cities. They exercised a power
not only of interpreting the laws, but of absolving men from the
obligation of them. They could postpone the assemblies of the people,
and prescribe a change of habit to the city, in cases of any imminent
danger or calamity.

But their power was chiefly conspicuous in civil dissension or dangerous
tumults within the city, in which that solemn decree used to be passed;
"That the consuls should take care that the republic should receive no
harm." By which decree an absolute power was granted to them to punish
and put to death whom they pleased without a trial; to raise forces and
carry on war, without the order of the people.

Although the decrees of the Senate had not properly the force of laws,
and took place chiefly in those matters which were not provided for by
the laws, yet they were understood always to have a binding force, and
were therefore obeyed by all orders. The consuls themselves were obliged
to submit to them. They could be annulled or cancelled only by the
Senate itself. In the last ages of the republic, the authority of the
Senate was little regarded by the leading men and their creatures, who
by means of bribery obtained from a corrupted populace what they
desired, in spite of the Senate.

Augustus, when he became master of the empire, retained the forms of the
ancient republic, and the same names of the magistrates; but left
nothing of the ancient virtue and liberty. While he pretended always to
act by the authority of the Senate, he artfully drew everything to

The Senators were distinguished by an oblong stripe of purple sewed on
the forepart of their Senatorial gown, and black buskins reaching to the
middle of the leg, with the letter C in silver on the top of the foot.

The chief privilege of the Senators was their having a particular place
at the public spectacles, called orchestra. It was next the stage in the
theatre, or next the arena or open space in the amphitheatre.

The messages sent by the emperor to the Senate were called epistolæ or
libelli, because they were folded in the form of a letter or little
book. Cæsar was said to have first introduced these libelli, which
afterwards were used on almost every occasion.


_Other Divisions of the Roman People._

That the Patricians and Plebeians might be connected together by the
strictest bonds, Romulus ordained that every Plebeian should choose from
the Patricians any one he pleased, for his patron or protector, whose
client he was called.

It was the duty of the patron to advise and defend his client, and to
assist him with his interest and substance. The client was obliged to
pay the greatest respect to his patron, and to serve him with his life
and fortune in any extremity.

It was unlawful for patrons and clients to accuse or bear witness
against each other, and whoever was found to have done so, might be
slain by any one with impunity as a victim to Pluto, and the infernal

It was esteemed highly honorable for a Patrician to have numerous
clients, both hereditary and acquired by his own merit. In after times,
even cities and whole nations were under the protection of illustrious
Roman families.

Those whose ancestors or themselves had borne any curule magistracy,
that is, had been Consul, Prætor, Censor or Curule Edile, were called
nobiles, and had the right of making images of themselves, which were
kept with great care by their posterity, and carried before them at

These images were merely the busts of persons down to the shoulders,
made of wax, and painted, which they used to place in the courts of
their houses, enclosed in wooden cases, and seem not to have brought
out, except on solemn occasions. There were titles or inscriptions
written below them, pointing out the honors they had enjoyed, and the
exploits they had performed. Anciently, this right of images was
peculiar to the Patricians; but afterwards, the Plebeians also acquired
it, when admitted to curule offices.

Those who were the first of their family, that had raised themselves to
any curule office, were called _homines novi_, new men or upstarts.
Those who had no images of themselves, or of their ancestors, were
called _ignobiles_.

Those who favored the interests of the Senate were called optimates, and
sometimes procĕres or principes. Those who studied to gain the favor of
the multitude, were called populares, of whatever order they were. This
was a division of factions, and not of rank or dignity. The contests
between these two parties, excited the greatest commotions in the state,
which finally terminated in the extinction of liberty.


_Gentes and Familiæ; Names of the Romans, &c._

The Romans were divided into various clans, (gentes,) and each clan into
several families. Those of the same gens were called gentiles, and those
of the same family, agnati. But relations by the father's side were also
called agnati, to distinguish them from cognati, relations only by the
mother's side.

The Romans had three names, to mark the different clans and families,
and distinguish the individuals of the same family--the prænomen, nomen
and cognomen.

The prænomen was put first, and marked the individual. It was commonly
written with one letter; as A. for Aulus: C. for Caius--sometimes with
two; as Ap. for Appius.

The nomen was put after the prænomen, to mark the gens, and commonly
ended in ius; as Cornelius, Fabius. The cognomen was put last, and
marked the family; as Cicero, Cæsar.

Sometimes there was also a fourth name, called the agnomen, added from
some illustrious action, or remarkable event. Thus, Scipio was called
Africanus, from the conquest of Carthage and Africa: for a similar
reason, his brother was called Asiaticus.

These names were not always used; commonly two, and sometimes only the
sirname. But in speaking to any one, the prænomen was generally used as
being peculiar to citizens, for slaves had no prænomen.

The sirnames were derived from various circumstances, either from some
quality of the mind; as Cato, from catus, wise: or from the habit of the
body; as Calvus, Crassus, &c.: or from cultivating particular fruits; as
Lentulus, Piso, &c. Quintus Cincinnatus was called Serranus, because the
ambassadors from the senate found him sowing, when they brought him word
that he was made dictator.

The prænomen was given to boys on the ninth day, which was called _dies
lustrĭcus_, or the day of purification, when certain religious
ceremonies were performed. The eldest son of the family usually received
the prænomen of his father. The rest were named from their uncles or
other relations.

When there was only one daughter in the family, she was called by the
name of the gens: thus, Tullia, the daughter of Cicero; and retained the
same after marriage. When there were two daughters, one was called
major, and the other minor. If there were more than two, they were
distinguished by their number; thus--prima, secunda, tertia, &c.

Those were called _liberi_, free, who had the power of doing what they
pleased. Those who were born of parents who had been always free, were
called _ingenui_. Slaves made free were called _liberti_, in relation to
their masters; and _libertini_, in relation to free born citizens.


_Private Rights of Roman Citizens._

The right of liberty comprehended not only liberty from the power of
masters, but also from the dominion of tyrants, the severity of
magistrates, the cruelty of creditors, and the insolence of more
powerful citizens. After the expulsion of Tarquin, a law was made by
Brutus, that no one should be king at Rome, and that whoever should form
a design of making himself a king, might be slain with impunity. At the
same time the people were bound by an oath that they would never suffer
a king to be created.

Citizens could appeal from the magistrates to the people, and the
persons who appealed could in no way be punished, until the people
determined the matter; but they were chiefly secured by the assistance
of the tribunes.

None but the whole Roman people in the _comitia centuriata_ could pass
sentence on the life of a Roman citizen. No magistrate could punish him
by stripes or capitally. The single expression, "I am a Roman citizen,"
checked their severest decrees.

By the laws of the twelve tables, it was ordained, that insolvent
debtors should be given up to their creditors, to be bound in fetters
and cords, and although they did not entirely lose the rights of
freemen, yet they were in actual slavery, and often more harshly treated
than even slaves themselves.

To check the cruelty of usurers, a law was afterwards made that no
debtors should be kept in irons, or in bonds; that the goods of the
debtor, not his person, should be given up to his creditors.

The people, not satisfied with this, as it did not free them from
prison, demanded an entire abolition of debt, which they used to call
new tables; but this was never granted.

Each clan and family had certain sacred rights, peculiar to itself,
which were inherited in the same manner as effects. When heirs by the
father's side of the same family failed, those of the same gens
succeeded in preference to relations by the mother's side of the same
family. No one could pass from a Patrician family to a Plebeian, or from
a Plebeian to a Patrician, unless by that form of adoption which could
only be made at the _comitia curiata_.

No Roman citizen could marry a slave, barbarian or foreigner, unless by
the permission of the people.

A father among the Romans had the power of life and death over his
children. He could not only expose them when infants, but when grown up
he might imprison, scourge, send them bound to work in the country, and
also put them to death by any punishment he pleased.

A son could acquire no property but with his father's consent, and what
he thus acquired was called his _peculium_ as of a slave.

Things with respect to property among the Romans were variously divided.
Some were said to be of divine right, and were held sacred, as altars,
temples, or any thing publicly consecrated to the gods, by the authority
of the Pontiffs; or religious, as sepulchres--or inviolable, as the
walls and gates of a city.

Others were said to be of human right, and called profane. These were
either public and common, as the air, running water, the sea and its
shores; or private, which might be the property of individuals.

None but a Roman citizen could make a will, or be witnesses to a
testament, or inherit any thing by it.

The usual method of making a will after the laws of the twelve tables
were enacted, was by brass and balance, as it was called. In the
presence of five witnesses, a weigher and witness, the testator by an
imaginary sale disposed of his family and property to one who was called
_familiæ emptor_, who was not the heir as some have thought, but only
admitted for the sake of form, that the testator might seem to have
alienated his effects in his life time. This act was called _familiæ

Sometimes the testator wrote his will wholly with his own hand, in which
case it was called _hologrăphum_--sometimes it was written by a friend,
or by others. Thus the testament of Augustus was written partly by
himself, and partly by two of his freedmen.

Testaments were always subscribed by the testator, and usually by the
witnesses, and sealed with their seals or rings. They were likewise tied
with a thread drawn thrice through holes and sealed; like all other
civil deeds, they were always written in Latin. A legacy expressed in
Greek was not valid.

They were deposited either privately in the hands of a friend, or in a
temple with the keeper of it. Thus Julius Cæsar is said to have
intrusted his testament to the oldest of the vestal virgins.

A father might leave whom he pleased as guardian to his children;--but
if he died, this charge devolved by law on the nearest relation by the
father's side. When there was no guardian by testament, nor a legal one,
the prætor and the majority of the tribunes of the people appointed a
guardian. If any one died without making a will, his goods devolved on
his nearest relations.

Women could not transact any business of importance without the
concurrence of their parents, husbands, or guardians.


_Public Rights of Roman Citizens._

The _jus militiæ_, was the right of serving in the army, which was at
first peculiar to the higher order of citizens only, but afterwards the
emperor took soldiers not only from Italy and the provinces, but also
from barbarous nations.

The _jus tributorum_ was the payment of a tax by each individual through
the tribes, in proportion to the valuation of his estates.

There were three kinds of tribute, one imposed equally on each person;
another according to his property; and a third exacted in cases of
emergency. There were three other kinds of taxes, called _portorium_,
_decumæ_ and _scriptura_.

The _portorium_ was paid for goods exported and imported, the collectors
of which were called portitores, or for carrying goods over a bridge.

The _decumæ_ were the tenth part of corn and the fifth part of other
fruit, exacted from the cultivators of the public lands, either in Italy
or without it.

The _scriptura_ was paid by those who pastured their cattle upon the
public lands. The _jus saffragii_ was the right of voting in the
different assemblies of the people.

The _jus honorum_ was the right of being priests or magistrates, at
first enjoyed only by the Patricians. Foreigners might live in the city
of Rome, but they enjoyed none of the rights of citizens; they were
subject to a peculiar jurisdiction, and might be expelled from the city
by a magistrate. They were not permitted to wear the Roman dress.


_Places of Worship._

_Templum_ was a place which had been dedicated to the worship of some
deity, and consecrated by the augurs.

_Ædes sacræ_ were such as wanted that consecration, which, if they
afterwards received, they changed their names to temples.

_Delubrum_ comprehended several deities under one roof. The most
celebrated temples were the capitol and pantheon.

The capitol or temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, was the effect of a vow
made by Tarquinius Priscus, in the Sabine war. But he had scarcely laid
the foundation before his death. His nephew Tarquin the proud, finished
it with the spoils taken from the neighboring nations.

The structure stood on a high ridge, taking in four acres of ground. The
front was adorned with three rows of pillars, the other sides with two.
The ascent from the ground was by a hundred steps. The prodigious gifts
and ornaments with which it was at several times endowed, almost exceed
belief. Augustus gave at one time two thousand pounds weight of gold,
and in jewels and precious stones to the value of five hundred

Livy and Pliny surprise us with accounts of the brazen thresholds, the
noble pillars that Scylla removed thither from Athens, out of the temple
of Jupiter Olympius; the gilded roof, the gilded shields, and those of
solid silver; the huge vessels of silver, holding three measures--the
golden chariot, &c.

This temple was first consumed by fire in the Marian war, and then
rebuilt by Sylla. This too was demolished in the Vitellian sedition.
Vespasian undertook a third, which was burnt about the time of his
death. Domitian raised the last and most glorious of all, in which the
very gilding amounted to twelve thousand talents--on which Plutarch has
observed of that emperor, that he was, like Midas, desirous of turning
every thing into gold. There are very little remains of it at present,
yet enough to make a Christian church.

The capitol contained in it three temples: one to Jupiter, one to Juno,
and one to Minerva. Jupiter's was in the centre, whence he was
poetically called "_Media qui sedet æde Deus_"--the god who sits in the
middle temple.

The pantheon was built by Marcus Agrippa, son-in-law to Augustus Cæsar,
and dedicated most probably to all the gods in general, as the name
implies. The structure is a hundred and fifty-eight feet high, and about
the same breadth. The roof is curiously vaulted, void places being here
and there for the greater strength. The rafters were pieces of brass of
forty feet in length. There are no windows in the whole edifice, only a
round hole at the top of the roof, which serves very well for the
admission of light. The walls on the inside are either solid marble or
incrusted. The front, on the outside, was covered with brazen plates,
gilt, the top with silver plates, which are now changed to lead. The
gates were brass, of extraordinary work and magnitude.

This temple is still standing, with little alteration, besides the loss
of the old ornaments, being converted into a Christian church by Pope
Boniface III. The most remarkable difference is that where they before
ascended by twelve steps, they now go down as many to the entrance.

There are two other temples, particularly worth notice, not so much for
the magnificence of the structure, as for the customs that depend upon
them, and the remarkable use to which they were put. These are the
temples of Saturn and Janus.

The first was famous on account of serving for the public treasury--the
reason of which some fancy to have been because Saturn first taught the
Italians to coin money; but most probably it was because this was the
strongest place in the city. Here were preserved all the public
registers and records, among which were the _libri elephantini_, or
great ivory tables, containing a list of all the tribes and the schemes
of the public accounts.

The other was a square building, some say of entire brass, so large as
to contain a statue of Janus, five feet high, with brazen gates on each
side, which were kept open in war, and shut in time of peace.


_Of other public Buildings._

Theatres, so called from the Greek θεαομαι, to see, owe their origin to

That the theatres and amphitheatres were two different sorts of
edifices, was never questioned, the former being built in the shape of a
semicircle; the other generally oval, so as to make the same figure as
if two theatres should be joined together. Yet the same place is often
called by these names in several authors. They seem, too, to have been
designed for quite different ends: the theatres for stage plays, the
amphitheatres for the greater shows of gladiators, wild beasts, &c. The
following are the most important parts of both.

_Scena_ was a partition reaching quite across the theatre, being made
either to turn round or draw up, to present a new prospect to the

_Proscenium_ was the space of ground just before the scene, where the
_pulpitum_ stood, into which the actors came from behind the scenes to

The middle part, or area of the amphitheatre, was called _cavæ_, because
it was considerably lower than the other parts, whence perhaps, the name
of pit in our play houses was borrowed; and arena, because it used to be
strown with sand, to hinder the performers from slipping.

There was a threefold distinction of the seats, according to the
ordinary division of the people into senators, knights, and commons. The
first range was called orchestra, from ορχειςθαι, because in that part
of the Grecian theatres, the dances were performed; the second
_equestria_; and the other _popularia_.


    Ruins of the Flavian Amphitheatre, commonly called
    the Colisæum. Pl. 2.]

The Flavian amphitheatre, now better known by the name of the
_Colisæum_, from its stupendous magnitude, excites the astonishment of
the world. It was five hundred fifty feet in length, and four hundred
seventy in breadth, and one hundred sixty in height. It was surrounded
to the top by a portico resting on eighty arches, and divided into four
stories. The arrangement of the seats was similar to that in the
theatres; but there was a large box projecting from one side, and
covered with a canopy of state for the accommodation of the emperor and
the magistrates, who were surrounded with all the insignia of office.

As combats of wild beasts formed a chief part of the amusements, they
were secured in dens around the arena or stage, which was strongly
encircled by a canal, to guard the spectators against their attacks.
These precautions, however, were not always sufficient, and instances
occurred in which the animals sprung across the barrier.

This huge pile was commenced by Vespasian, and was reared with a portion
of the materials of Nero's golden palace: its form was oval, and it is
supposed to have contained upwards of eighty thousand persons. A large
part of this vast edifice still remains.

Theatres, in the first ages of the commonwealth, were only temporary,
and composed of wood. Of these, the most celebrated was that of Marcus
Scaurus--the scenes of which were divided into three partitions, one
above another, the first consisting of one hundred and twenty pillars of
marble; the next, of the like number of pillars, curiously wrought in
glass. The top of all had the same number of pillars adorned with gilded
tablets. Between the pillars were set three thousand statues and images
of brass. The _cavca_ would hold eighty thousand men.

Pompey the great was the first who undertook the raising of a fixed
theatre, which he built nobly of square stone. Some of the remains of
this theatre are still to be seen at Rome.

The _circi_ were places set apart for the celebration of several sorts
of games:--they were generally oblong or almost in the shape of a bow,
having a wall quite round, with ranges of seats for the convenience of
spectators. At the entrance of the circus stood the _carceres_ or lists,
whence they started, and just by them, one of the _metæ_ or marks--the
other standing at the farther end to conclude the race.

The most remarkable, was the _circus maximus_, built by Tarquinius
Priscus:--the length of it was four _stadia_, or furlongs, the breadth
the same number of acres, with a trench of ten feet deep, and as many
broad, to receive the water, and seats enough for one hundred fifty
thousand men. It was extremely beautiful and adorned by succeeding
princes, and enlarged to such a prodigious extent as to be able to
contain in their proper seats two hundred and sixty thousand spectators.

The _naumachiæ_ or places for the shows of sea-engagements are no where
particularly described; but we may suppose them similar to the _circi_
and amphitheatres.

The _stadia_ were places in the form of _circi_, for the running of men
and horses. A beautiful one was built by Domitian. The _xysti_ were
places constructed like porticos, in which the wrestlers exercised.

The _Campus Martius_, famous on so many accounts, was a large plain
field, lying near the Tiber, whence we find it sometimes under the name
of _Tiberinus_:--it was called _Martius_, because it had been
consecrated by the old Romans to the god Mars. Besides the pleasant
situation and other natural ornaments, the continual sports and
exercises performed there, made it one of the most interesting sights
near the city. Here the young noblemen practised all kinds of feats of
activity, and learned the use of arms. Here were the races either with
chariots or single horses. Besides this, it was nobly adorned with the
statues of famous men, with arches, columns and porticos, and other
magnificent structures. Here stood the _villa publica_ or palace, for
the reception and entertainment of ambassadors from foreign states, who
were not allowed to enter the city.

The Roman _curiæ_ were of two sorts, divine and civil. In the former,
the priests and religious orders met for the regulation of the rites and
ceremonies belonging to the worship of the gods. In the other, the
senate used to assemble, to consult about the public concerns of the
commonwealth. The senate could not meet in such a place, unless it had
been solemnly consecrated by the augurs, and made of the same nature as
a temple.

The Roman forums were public buildings about three times as long as they
were broad. All the compass of the forum was surrounded by arched
porticos, some passages being left as places of entrance.

There were two kinds, _fora civilia_ and _fora venalia_. The first were
designed for the ornaments of the city, and for the use of public courts
of justice. The others were erected for the necessities and conveniences
of the inhabitants, and were no doubt equivalent to our markets. The
most remarkable were the Roman forum, built by Romulus, and adorned with
porticos on all sides, by Tarquinius Priscus: This was the most ancient
and most frequently used in public affairs.

The Julian forum, built by Julius Cæsar, with the spoils taken in the
Gallic war; the area alone, cost one hundred thousand _sesterces_, equal
to 3570 dollars.

The Augustan forum, built by Augustus Cæsar, containing statues in the
two porticos, on each side of the main building. In one were all the
Latin kings, beginning with Æneas: in the other all the Roman kings,
beginning with Romulus, and most of the eminent persons in the
commonwealth, and Augustus himself among the rest, with an inscription
upon the pedestal of every statue, expressing the chief actions and
exploits of the person it represented.

The forum of Trajan, erected by the emperor Trajan, with the foreign
spoils he had taken in the wars; the covering was all brass, and the
porticos exceedingly beautiful.

The chief _fora venalia_ or markets, were _boarium_, for oxen and beef,
_suarium_, for swine, _pistorium_, for bread, _cupedinarium_, for
dainties, and _holitorium_, for roots, sallads and similar things.

The _comitium_ was only a part of the Roman forum, which served
sometimes for the celebration of the _comitia_; here stood the _rostra_,
a kind of pulpit, adorned with the beaks of ships taken in a sea fight,
from the inhabitants of Antium in Italy; here causes were pleaded,
orations made, and funeral panegyrics delivered.


_Porticos, Arches, Columns and Trophies._

The porticos are worthy of observation: they were structures of curious
work and extraordinary beauty annexed to public edifices, sacred and
civil, as well for ornament as use.

They generally took their names either from the temples which they stood
near, from the builders, from the nature and form of the building, or
from the remarkable paintings in them.

They were sometimes used for the assemblies of the senate; sometimes the
jewellers and such as dealt in the most precious wares took their stand
here to expose their goods for sale; but the general use they were put
to, was the pleasure of walking or riding in them, like the present
piazzas in Italy.

Arches were public buildings designed for the encouragement and reward
of noble enterprises, erected generally to the honor of such eminent
persons as had either won a victory of extraordinary consequence abroad,
or had rescued the commonwealth, at home, from any considerable danger.

At first they were plain and rude structures, by no means remarkable for
beauty or taste: but in latter times no expense was thought too great to
render them in the highest manner splendid and magnificent. The arches
built by Romulus were only of brick, that of Camillus of plain square
stone, but those of Cæsar, Drusus, Titus, &c. were all of marble.

Their figure was at first semicircular, whence probably they took their
names; afterwards they were built four square, with a spacious arched
gate in the middle, and small ones on each side. Upon the vaulted part
of the middle gate, hung little winged images representing victory, with
crowns in their hands, which, when they were let down, they put upon the
conqueror's head, as he passed under the triumphal arch.

The columns or pillars, over the sepulchres of distinguished men, were
great ornaments to the city: they were at last converted to the same
design as the arches, for the honorable memorial of some noble victory
or exploit. The pillars of the emperors Trajan and Antoninus deserve
particular attention for their beauty and curious workmanship.

The former was set up in the middle of Trajan's forum, being composed of
twenty-four great stones of marble, but so skilfully cemented as to
appear one entire stone. The height was one hundred forty-four feet; it
is ascended on the inside by one hundred eighty-five winding stairs, and
has forty little windows for the admission of light. The whole pillar is
incrusted with marble, in which are expressed all the noble actions of
the emperor, and particularly the Decian war.

But its noblest ornament was the gigantic statue of Trajan on the top,
being no less than twenty feet high; he was represented in a coat of
armour proper to the general, holding in his left hand a sceptre, in his
right a hollow globe of fire, in which his own ashes were deposited
after his death.

The column of Antoninus was raised in imitation of this, which it
exceeded only in one respect, that it was one hundred seventy six feet
high--for the work was much inferior to the former, being undertaken in
the declining age of the empire. The ascent on the inside was by one
hundred six steps, and the windows, in the sides, fifty-six; the
sculpture and the other ornaments were of the same nature as those of
the first, and on the top stood a colossal statue of the emperor, naked,
as appears from his coins.

Both of these columns are still standing at Rome; the former almost
entire: but Pope Sixtus the first, instead of the two statues of the
emperors, set up St. Peter's on the column of Trajan, and St. Paul's on
that of Antoninus.

There was likewise a gilded pillar in the forum, called the _milliarium
aureum_, erected by Augustus Cæsar, at which all the highways of Italy
met and were concluded; from this they counted their miles, at the end
of every mile setting up a stone, whence came the phrase _primus ab urbe

But the most remarkable was the _columna rostrata_, set up to the honor
of Caius Duilius, when he had gained a victory over the Carthaginian and
Sicilian fleets, four hundred ninety-three years from the foundation of
the city, and adorned with the beaks of the vessels taken in the
engagement. This is still to be seen at Rome; the inscription on the
basis is a noble example of the old way of writing, in the early times
of the commonwealth.

Trophies were spoils taken from the enemy, and fixed upon any thing as
signs or monuments of victory: they were erected usually in the place
where it was gained and consecrated to some divinity, with an


_Bagnios, Aqueducts, Sewers and public Ways._

The Romans expended immense sums of money on their bagnios. The most
remarkable were those of the emperors Dioclesian and Antonius
Caracalla--great part of which are standing at this time, and with the
high arches, the beautiful and stately pillars, the abundance of foreign
marble, the curious vaulting of the roofs, and the prodigious number of
spacious apartments, may be considered among the greatest curiosities of

The first invention of aqueducts, is attributed to Appius Claudius, four
hundred forty-one years from the foundation of the city, who brought
water into the city, by a channel of eleven miles in length--but
afterwards several others of greater magnitude were built: several of
them were cut through the mountains, and all other impediments for about
forty miles together, and of such a height that a man on horseback might
ride through them without the least difficulty. But this is meant only
of the constant course of the channel, for the vaults and arches were in
some places one hundred and nine feet high. It is said that Rome was
supplied with five hundred thousand hogsheads every twenty-four hours by
means of these aqueducts.

The _cloacæ_ or sewers were constructed by undermining and cutting
through the seven hills upon which Rome stood, making the city hang, as
it were, between heaven and earth, and capable of being sailed under.

Marcus Agrippa in his edileship, made no less than seven streams meet
together under ground, in one main channel, with such a rapid current,
as to carry all before them, that they met with in their passage.
Sometimes in a flood, the waters of the Tiber opposed them in their
course, and the two streams encountered each other with great fury: yet
the works preserved their old strength, without any sensible damage:
sometimes the ruins of whole buildings, destroyed by fire or other
casualties, pressed heavily upon the frame: sometimes terrible
earthquakes shook the foundation: yet they still continued impregnable.

The public ways were built with extraordinary care to a great distance
from the city on all sides; they were generally paved with flint, though
sometimes, and especially without the city, with pebbles and gravel.

The most noble was the Appian way, the length of which was generally
computed at three hundred and fifty miles: it was twelve feet broad,
made of huge stones, most of them blue. Its strength was so great, that
after it had been built two thousand years, it was, in most places, for
several miles together, perfectly sound.


_Of Augurs and Auguries._

The business of the augurs or soothsayers was to interpret dreams,
oracles, prodigies, &c. and to tell whether any action should be
fortunate or prejudicial to any particular persons, or to the whole

There are five kinds of auguries mentioned in authors--1st. From the
appearances in heaven,--as thunder, lightning, comets and other meteors;
as, for instance, whether the thunder came from the right or left,
whether the number of strokes was even or odd, &c.

2d. From birds, whence they had the name of _auspices_, from _avis_ and
_specio_; some birds furnished them with observations from their
chattering and singing,--such as crows, owls, &c.--others from their
flying, as eagles, vultures, &c.

To take both these kind of auguries, the observer stood upon a tower
with his head covered in a gown, peculiar to his office, and turning his
face towards the east, marked out the heavens into four quarters, with a
short, straight rod, with a little turning at one end: this done, he
staid waiting for the omen, which never signified anything, unless
confirmed by another of the same sort.

3d. From chickens kept in a coop for this purpose. The manner of
divining from them was as follows:--early in the morning, the augur,
commanding a general silence, ordered the coop to be opened, and threw
down a handful of crumbs or corn: if the chickens did not immediately
run to the food, if they scattered it with their wings, if they went by
without taking notice of it, or if they flew away, the omen was reckoned
unfortunate, and to portend nothing but danger or mischance; but if they
leaped directly from the pen, and eat voraciously, there was great
assurance of happiness and success.

4th. From beasts, such as foxes, wolves, goats, heifers, &c.; the
general observations about these, were, whether they appeared in a
strange place, or crossed the way, or whether they ran to the right or
the left, &c.

The last kind of divination was from unusual accidents, such as
sneezing, stumbling, seeing apparations, hearing strange voices, the
falling of salt upon the table, &c.


_Of the Aruspices, Pontifices, Quindecemviri, Vestals, &c._

The business of aruspices was to look upon the beasts offered in
sacrifices, and by them to divine the success of any enterprise.

They took their observations, 1st. From the beasts before they were cut
up. 2d. From the entrails of those beasts after they were cut up. 3d.
From the flame that used to rise when they were burning. 4th. From the
flour of bran, from the frankincense, wine and water, which they used in
the sacrifice.

The offices of the pontifices were to give judgment in all cases
relating to religion, to inquire into the lives of the inferior priests,
and to punish them if they saw occasion; to prescribe rules for public
worship; to regulate the feasts, sacrifices, and all other sacred
institutions. The master or superintendent of the pontifices was one of
the most honorable offices in the commonwealth.

The _quindecemviri_ had the charge of the sibylline books; inspected
them by the appointment of the senate in dangerous junctures, and
performed the sacrifices which they enjoined.

They are said to have been instituted on the following occasion: A
certain woman called Amalthēa is said to have come to Tarquin the proud,
wishing to sell nine books of sibylline or prophetic oracles: but upon
Tarquin's refusal to give her the price she asked, she went away and
burnt three of them. Returning soon after, she asked the same price for
the remaining six: whereupon, being ridiculed by the king, she went and
burnt three more; and coming back, still demanded the same price for
those which remained. Tarquin, surprised at this strange conduct of the
woman, consulted the augurs what to do; they, regretting the loss of the
books which had been destroyed, advised the king to give the price
required. The woman therefore, having delivered the books and directed
them to be carefully kept, disappeared, and was never afterwards seen.

These books were supposed to contain the fate of the Roman empire, and
therefore, in public danger or calamity, they were frequently inspected;
they were kept with great care in a chest under ground, in the capitol.

The institution of the vestal virgins is generally attributed to Numa;
their office was to attend upon the rites of Vesta, the chief part of it
being the preservation of the holy fire: they were obliged to keep this
with the greatest care, and if it happened to go out, it was thought
impiety to light it by any common flame, but they made use of the pure
rays of the sun.

The famous palladium brought from Troy by Æneas, was likewise guarded by
them, for Ulysses and Diomedes stole only a counterfeit one, a copy of
the other, which was kept with less care.

The number of the vestals was six, and they were admitted between the
years of six and ten. The chief rules prescribed by their founder, were
to vow the strictest chastity for the space of thirty years;--the first
ten they were only novices, being obliged to learn the ceremonies and
perfect themselves in the duties of their religion; the next ten years
they discharged the duties of priestesses, and spent the remaining ten
in instructing others.

If they broke their vow of virginity, they were buried alive in a place
without the city wall, allotted for that purpose.

This severe condition was recompensed with several privileges and
prerogatives: their persons were sacred: in public they usually appeared
on a magnificent car, drawn by white horses, followed by a numerous
retinue of female slaves, and preceded by lictors; and if they met a
malefactor going to punishment, they had the power to remit his

The _septemviri_ were priests among the Romans, who prepared the sacred
feasts at games, processions, and other solemn occasions: they were
likewise assistants to the pontifices.

The _fratres ambarvales_, twelve in number, were those priests who
offered up sacrifices for the fertility of the ground. The _curiones_
performed the rites in each curia.

_Feciales_ (_Heralds_) were a college of sacred persons, into whose
charge all concerns relating to the declaration of war or conclusion of
peace, were committed.

Their first institution was in so high a degree laudable and beneficial,
as to reflect great honour on Roman justice and moderation. It was the
primary and especial duty of the heralds, to inquire into the equity of
a proposed war: and if the grounds of it seemed to them trivial or
unjust, the war was declined--if otherwise, the senate concerted the
best measures to carry it on with spirit.

Feciales were supreme judges in every thing relating to treaties. The
head of their college was called Pater Patratus.

All the members of this college, while in the discharge of their duty,
wore a wreath of vervain around their heads; and bore a branch of it in
their hands, when they made peace, of which it was an emblem.

Their authority and respectability continued until the lust of dominion
had corrupted the policy of the Romans; after which their situations
were comparative sinecures, and their solemn deliberations dwindled into
useless or contemptible formalities.

Among the flamines or priests of particular gods, were, 1st. _flamen
dialis_ the priest of Jupiter. This was an office of great dignity, but
subjected to many restrictions; as that he should not ride on horseback,
nor stay one night without the city, nor take an oath, and several

2d. The _salii_, priests of Mars, so called, because on solemn occasions
they used to go through the city dancing, dressed in an embroidered
tunic, bound with a brazen belt, and a _toga pretexta_ or _trabea_;
having on their head a cap rising to a considerable height in the form
of a cone, with a sword by their side, in their right hand a spear or
rod, and in their left, one of the ancilia or shields of Mars.--The most
solemn procession of the salii was on the first of March, in
commemoration of the time when the sacred shield was believed to have
fallen from heaven in the reign of Numa.

3d. The _luperci_, priests of Pan, were so called, from a wolf, because
that god was supposed to keep the wolves from the sheep. Hence the place
where he was worshipped was called lupercal, and his festival
lupercalia, which was celebrated in February, at which the luperci ran
up and down the city naked, having only a girdle of goat skin round
their waists, and thongs of the same in their hands, with which they
struck those they met.

It is said that Antony, while chief of the luperci, went according to
concert, it is believed, almost naked into the forum, attended by his
lictors, and having made an harangue to the people from the rostra,
presented a crown to Cæsar, who was sitting there, surrounded by the
whole senate and people. He attempted frequently to put the crown upon
his head, addressing him by the title of king, and declaring that what
he said and did was at the desire of his fellow citizens; but Cæsar
perceiving the strongest marks of aversion in the people, rejected it,
saying, that Jupiter alone was king of Rome, and therefore sent the
crown to the capitol to be presented to that God.


_Religious Ceremonies of the Romans._

The Romans were, as a people, remarkably attached to the religion they
professed; and scrupulously attentive in discharging the rites and
ceremonies which it enjoined.

Their religion was Idolatry, in its grossest and widest acceptation. It
acknowledged a few general truths, but greatly darkened these by fables
and poetical fiction.

All the inhabitants of the invisible world, to which the souls of people
departed after death, were indiscriminately called _Inferi_. _Elysium_
was that part of hell (_apud Inferos_,) in which the good spent a
spiritual existence of unmingled enjoyment, and _Tartarus_ (pl. -ra) was
the terrible prison-house of the damned.

The worship of the gods consisted chiefly in prayers, vows, and
sacrifices. No act of religious worship was performed without prayer;
while praying, they stood usually with their heads covered, looking
towards the east; a priest pronounced the words before them;--they
frequently touched the altars or knees of the images of the gods;
turning themselves round in a circle towards the right, sometimes
putting their right hand to their mouth, and also prostrating themselves
on the ground.

They vowed temples, games, sacrifices, gifts, &c. Sometimes they used to
write their vows on paper or waxen tablets, to seal them up, and fasten
them with wax to the knees of the images of the gods, that being
supposed to be the seat of mercy.

Lustrations were necessary to be made before entrance on any important
religious duty, viz. before setting out to the temples, before the
sacrifice, before initiation into the mysteries, and before solemn vows
and prayers.

Lustrations were also made after acts by which one might be polluted; as
after murder, or after having assisted at a funeral.

In sacrifices it was requisite that those who offered them, should come
chaste and pure; that they should bathe themselves, be dressed in white
robes, and crowned with the leaves of the tree which was thought most
acceptable to the god whom they worshipped.

Sacrifices were made of victims whole and sound (_Integræ et sanæ_.) But
all victims were not indifferently offered to all gods.

A white bull was an acceptable sacrifice to Jupiter; an ewe to Juno;
black victims, bulls especially, to Pluto; a bull and a horse to
Neptune; the horse to Mars; bullocks and lambs to Apollo, &c. Sheep and
goats were offered to various deities.

The victim was led to the altar with a loose rope, that it might not
seem to be brought by force, which was reckoned a bad omen. After
silence was proclaimed, a salted cake was sprinkled on the head of the
beast, and frankincense and wine poured between his horns, the priest
having first tasted the wine himself, and given it to be tasted by those
that stood next him, which was called _libatio_--the priest then plucked
the highest hairs between the horns, and threw them into the fire--the
victim was struck with an axe or mall, then stabbed with knives, and the
blood being caught in goblets, was poured on the altar--it was then
flayed and dissected; then the entrails were inspected by the aruspices,
and if the signs were favorable, they were said to have offered up an
acceptable sacrifice, or to have pacified the gods; if not, another
victim was offered up, and sometimes several. The parts which fell to
the gods were sprinkled with meal, wine, and frankincense, and burnt on
the altar. When the sacrifice was finished, the priest, having washed
his hands, and uttered certain prayers, again made a libation, and the
people were dismissed.

Human sacrifices were also offered among the Romans: persons guilty of
certain crimes, as treachery or sedition, were devoted to Pluto and the
infernal gods, and therefore any one might slay them with impunity.

Altars and temples afforded an asylum or place of refuge among the
Greeks and Romans, as well as among the Jews, chiefly to slaves from the
cruelty of their masters, and to insolvent debtors and criminals, where
it was considered impious to touch them; but sometimes they put fire and
combustible materials around the place, that the person might appear to
be forced away, not by men, but by a god: or shut up the temple and
unroofed it, that he might perish in the open air.


_The Roman Year._

Romulus divided the year into ten months; the first of which was called
March from Mars, his supposed father; the 2d April, either from the
Greek name of Venus, (Aφροδιτα) or because trees and flowers open their
buds, during that month; the 3d, May, from Maia, the mother of Mercury;
the 4th, June, from the goddess Juno; 5th, July, from Julius Cæsar; 6th,
August, from Augustus Cæsar; the rest were called from their number,
September, October, November, December.

Numa added two months--January from Janus, and February because the
people were then purified, (_februabatur_) by an expiatory sacrifice
from the sin of the whole year: for this anciently was the last month in
the year.

Numa in imitation of the Greeks divided the year into twelve lunar
months, according to the course of the moon, but as this mode of
division did not correspond with the course of the sun, he ordained that
an intercalary month should be added every other year.

Julius Cæsar afterwards abolished this month, and with the assistance of
Sosigĕnes, a skilful astronomer of Alexandria, in the year of Rome 707,
arranged the year according to the course of the sun, commencing with
the first of January, and assigned to each month the number of days
which they still retain. This is the celebrated Julian or solar year
which has been since maintained without any other alteration than that
of the new style, introduced by pope Gregory, A. D. 1582, and adopted in
England in 1752, when eleven days were dropped between the second and
fourteenth of September.

The months were divided into three parts, _kalends_, _nones_ and _ides_.
They commenced with the _kalends_; the _nones_ occurred on the fifth,
and the _ides_ on the thirteenth, except in March, May, July, and
October, when they fell on the seventh and fifteenth.

In marking the days of the month they went backwards: thus, January
first was the first of the _kalends_ of January--December thirty-first
was _pridie kalendas_, or the day next before the _kalends_ of
January--the day before that, or the thirtieth of December, _tertio
kalendas Januarii_, or the third day before the _kalends_ of January,
and so on to the thirteenth, when came the ides of December.

The day was either civil or natural; the civil day was from midnight to
midnight; the natural day was from the rising to the setting of the sun.

The use of clocks and watches was unknown to the Romans--nor was it till
four hundred and forty-seven years after the building of the city, that
the sun dial was introduced: about a century later, they first measured
time by a water machine, which served by night, as well as by day.

Their days were distinguished by the names of _festi_, _profesti_, and
_intercisi_. The _festi_ were dedicated to religious worship, the
_profesti_ were allotted to ordinary business, the days which served
partly for one and partly for the other were called _intercisi_, or half
holy days.

The manner of reckoning by weeks was not introduced until late in the
second century of the christian era: it was borrowed from the Egyptians,
and the days were named after the planets: thus, Sunday from the Sun,
Monday from the Moon, Tuesday from Mars, Wednesday from Mercury,
Thursday from Jupiter, Friday from Venus, Saturday from Saturn.

_A Table of the Kalends, Nones, and Ides._

  Days of|  Apr, June,  |  Jan, August,  |  March, May,  |
  Month. |  Sept, Nov.  |  December.     |  July, Oct.   |  February.

  1         Kalendæ.       Kalendæ.         Kalendæ.        Kalendæ.
  2         IV. Nonas.     IV. Nonas        VI.             IV. Nonas.
  3         III.           III.             V.              III.
  4         Pridie.        Pridie.          IV.             Pridie.
  5         Nonæ.          Nonæ.            III.            Nonæ.
  6         VIII. Idus     VIII. Idus.      Pridie.         VIII. Idus.
  7         VII.           VII.             Nonæ.           VII.
  8         VI.            VI.              VIII. Idus.     VI.
  9         V.             V.               VII.            V.
  10        IV.            IV.              VI.             IV.
  11        III.           III.             V.              III.
  12        Pridie.        Pridie.          IV.             Pridie.
  13        Idus.          Idus.            III.            Idus.
  14        XVIII. Kal.    XIX. Kal.        Pridie.         XVI. Kal.
  15        XVII.          XVIII.           Idus.           XV.
  16        XVI.           XVII.            XVII. Kal.      XIV
  17        XV.            XVI.             XVI.            XIII.
  18        XIV.           XV.              XV.             XII.
  19        XIII.          XIV.             XIV.            XI.
  20        XII.           XIII.            XIII.           X.
  21        XI.            XII.             XII.            IX.
  22        X.             XI.              XI.             VIII.
  23        IX.            X.               X.              VII.
  24        VIII.          IX.              IX.             VI.
  25        VII.           VIII.            VIII.           V.
  26        VI.            VII.             VII.            IV.
  27        V.             VI.              VI.             III.
  28        IV.            V.               V.              Prid. Kal.
  29        III.           IV.              IV.             Martii.
  30        Prid. Kal.     III.             III.
  31        Mens. seq.     Prid. Kal.       Prid. Kal.
                           Mens. seq.       Mens. seq.


_Roman Games._

The Roman Games formed a part of religious worship, and were always
consecrated to some god: they were either stated or vowed by generals in
war, or celebrated on extraordinary occasions; the most celebrated were
those of the circus.

Among them were first, chariot and horse races, of which the Romans were
extravagantly fond. The charioteers were distributed into four parties
or factions from the different colours of their dresses. The spectators
favored one or other of the colours, as humor or caprice inclined them.
It was not the swiftness of their horses, nor the art of the men that
inclined them, but merely the dress. In the times of Justinian, no less
than thirty thousand men are said to have lost their lives at
Constantinople, in a tumult raised by contention among the partizans of
the several colours.

The order in which the chariots or horses stood, was determined by lot,
and the person who presided at the games gave the signal for starting,
by dropping a cloth; then the chain of the _hermuli_ being withdrawn,
they sprung forward, and whoever first ran seven times round the course,
was declared the victor; he was then crowned, and received a prize in
money of considerable value.

Second; contests of agility and strength, of which there were five
kinds; running, leaping, boxing, wrestling and throwing the _discus_ or
quoit. Boxers covered their hands with a kind of gloves, which had lead
or iron sewed into them, to make the strokes fall with greater weight;
the combatants were previously trained in a place of exercise, and
restricted to a particular diet.

Third; what was called _venatio_, or the fighting of wild beasts with
one another, or with men, called _bestiarii_, who were either forced to
this by way of punishment, as the primitive christians often were, or
fought voluntarily, either from a natural ferocity of disposition, or
induced by hire. An incredible number of animals of various kinds, were
brought from all quarters, for the entertainment of the people, at an
immense expense; and were kept in enclosures called _vivaria_, till the
day of exhibition. Pompey, in his second consulship, exhibited at once
five hundred lions, and eighteen elephants, who were all despatched in
five days.

Fourth; _naumachia_, or the representation of a sea fight; those who
fought, were usually composed of captives or condemned malefactors, who
fought to death, unless saved by the clemency of the emperors.

In the next class of games were the shows of gladiators; they were first
exhibited at Rome by two brothers called Bruti, at the funeral of their
father, and for some time they were only exhibited on such occasions;
but afterwards, also by the magistrates, to entertain the people,
chiefly at the _saturnalia_ and feasts of Minerva.

Incredible numbers of men were destroyed in this manner; after the
triumph of Trajan over the Dacians, spectacles were exhibited for one
hundred twenty-three days, in which eleven thousand animals, of
different kinds, were killed, and ten thousand gladiators fought, whence
we may judge of other instances. The emperor Claudius, although
naturally of a gentle disposition, is said to have been rendered cruel
by often attending these spectacles.

Gladiators were at first composed of slaves and captives, or of
condemned malefactors, but afterwards also of free born citizens,
induced by hire or inclination.

When any gladiator was wounded, he lowered his arms as a sign of his
being vanquished, but his fate depended on the pleasure of the people,
who, if they wished him to be saved, pressed down their thumbs; if to be
slain, they turned them up, and ordered him to receive the sword, which
gladiators usually submitted to with amazing fortitude.

Such was the spirit engendered by these scenes of blood, that
malefactors and unfortunate christians, during the period of the
persecution against them, were compelled to risk their lives in these
unequal contests; and in the time of Nero, christians were dressed in
skins, and thus distinguished, were hunted by dogs, or forced to contend
with ferocious animals, by which they were devoured.

The next in order were the dramatic entertainments, of which there were
three kinds. First; comedy, which was a representation of common life,
written in a familiar style, and usually with a happy issue: the design
of it was, to expose vice and folly to ridicule.

Second; tragedy, or the representation of some one serious and important
action; in which illustrious persons are introduced as heroes, kings,
&c. written in an elevated style, and generally with an unhappy issue.

The great end of tragedy was to excite the passions; chiefly pity and
horror: to inspire a love of virtue, and an abhorrence of vice.

The Roman tragedy and comedy differed from ours only in the chorus: this
was a company of actors who usually remained on the stage singing and
conversing on the subject in the intervals of the acts.

Pantomimes, or representations of dumb show, where the actors expressed
every thing by their dancing and gestures, without speaking.

Those who were most approved, received crowns, &c. as at other games; at
first composed of leaves or flowers, tied round the head with strings,
afterwards of thin plates of brass gilt.

The scenery was concealed by a curtain, which, contrary to the modern
custom, was drawn down when the play began, and raised when it was over.



Rome was at first governed by kings, chosen by the people; their power
was not absolute, but limited; their badges were the _trabea_ or white
robe adorned with stripes of purple, a golden crown and ivory sceptre;
the _curule_ chair and twelve _lictors_ with the _fasces_, that is,
carrying each a bundle of rods, with an axe in the middle of them.

The regal government subsisted at Rome for two hundred and forty-three
years, under seven kings--Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius,
Ancus Marcius, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius, and Lucius
Tarquinius Superbus, all of whom, except the last, may be said to have
laid the foundation of Roman greatness by their good government.

Tarquin being universally detested for his tyranny and cruelty, was
expelled the city, with his wife and family, on account of the violence
offered by his son Sextus to Lucretia, a noble lady, the wife of

This revolution was brought about chiefly by means of Lucius Junius
Brutus. The haughtiness and cruelty of Tarquin inspired the Romans with
the greatest aversion to regal government, which they retained ever

In the two hundred and forty-fourth year from the building of the city,
they elected two magistrates, of equal authority, and gave them the name
of consuls. They had the same badges as the kings, except the crown, and
nearly the same power; in time of war they possessed supreme command,
and usually drew lots to determine which should remain in Rome--they
levied soldiers, nominated the greater part of the officers, and
provided what was necessary for their support.

In dangerous conjunctures, they were armed by the senate with absolute
power, by the solemn decree that the consuls should take care the
Republic receives no harm. In any serious tumult or sedition they called
the Roman citizens to arms in these words, "Let those who wish to save
the republic follow me"--by which they easily checked it.

Although their authority was very much impaired, first by the tribunes
of the people, and afterwards upon the establishment of the empire, yet
they were still employed in consulting the senate, administering
justice, managing public games and the like, and had the honor to
characterize the year by their own names.

To be a candidate for the consulship, it was requisite to be forty-three
years of age: to have gone through the inferior offices of _quæstor_,
_ædile_, and _prætor_--and to be present in a private station.

The office of prætor was instituted partly because the consuls being
often wholly taken up with foreign wars, found the want of some person
to administer justice in the city; and partly because the nobility,
having lost their appropriation of the consulship, were ambitious of
obtaining some new honor in its room. He was attended in the city by two
_lictors_, who went before him with the _fasces_, and six _lictors_
without the city; he wore also, like the consuls, the _toga pretexta_,
or white robe fringed with purple.

The power of the prætor, in the administration of justice, was expressed
in three words, _do_, _dico_, _addico_. By the word _do_, he expressed
his power in giving the form of a writ for trying and redressing a
wrong, and in appointing judges or jury to decide the cause: by _dico_,
he meant that he declared right, or gave judgment; and by _addico_, that
he adjudged the goods of the debtor to the creditor. The prætor
administered justice only in private or trivial cases: but in public and
important causes, the people either judged themselves, or appointed
persons called _quæsitores_ to preside.

The _censors_ were appointed to take an account of the number of the
people, and the value of their fortunes, and superintend the public
morals. They were usually chosen from the most respectable persons of
consular dignity, at first only from among the Patricians, but
afterwards likewise from the Plebeians.

They had the same ensigns as the consuls, except the _lictors_, and were
chosen every five years, but continued in office only a year and a half.
When any of the senators or equites committed a dishonorable action, the
censors could erase the name of the former from the list, and deprive
the knight of his horse and ring; any other citizen, they degraded or
deprived of all the privileges of a Roman citizen, except liberty.

As the sentence of censors (_Animadversio Censoria_,) only affected a
person's character, it was therefore properly called _Ignominia_. Yet
even this was not unchangeable; the people or next censors might reverse

In addition to the revision of morals, censors had the charge of paving
the streets--making roads, bridges, and aqueducts--preventing private
persons from occupying public property--and frequently of imposing

A census was taken by these officers, every five years, of the number of
the people, the amount of their fortunes, the number of slaves, &c.
After this census had been taken, a sacrifice was made of a sow, a
sheep, and a bull--hence called _suove-taurilia_. As this took place
only every five years, that space of time was called a _lustrum_,
because the sacrifice was a lustration offered for all the people; and
therefore _condere lustrum_, means to finish the census.

The title of censor was esteemed more honorable than that of consul,
although attended by less power: no one could be elected a second time,
and they who filled it were remarkable for leading an irreproachable
life; so that it was considered the chief ornament of nobility to be
sprung from a censorian family.

The appointment of tribunes of the people, may be attributed to the
following cause; the Plebeians being oppressed by the Patricians, on
account of debt, made a secession to a mountain afterwards called _mons
sacer_, three miles from Rome, nor could they be prevailed on to return,
till they obtained from the Patricians a remission of debts for those
who were insolvent, and liberty to such as had been given up to serve
their creditors: and likewise that the Plebeians should have proper
magistrates of their own, to protect their rights, whose person should
be sacred and inviolable.

They were at first five in number, but afterwards increased to ten; they
had no external mark of dignity, except a kind of beadle, called
_viator_, who went before them.

The word _veto_, I forbid it, was at first the extent of their power;
but it afterwards increased to such a degree, that under pretence of
defending the rights of the people, they did almost whatever they
pleased. If any one hurt a tribune in word or deed, he was held
accursed, and his property confiscated.

The _ediles_ were so called from their care of the public buildings;
they were either Plebeian or _curule_; the former, two in number, were
appointed to be, as it were, the assistants of the tribunes of the
commons, and to determine certain lesser causes committed to them; the
latter, also two in number, were chosen from the Patricians and
Plebeians, to exhibit certain public games.

The _quæstors_ were officers elected by the people, to take care of the
public revenues; there were at first only two of them, but two others
were afterwards added to accompany the armies; and upon the conquest of
all Italy, four more were created, who remained in the provinces.

The principal charge of the city quæstors was the care of the treasury;
they received and expended the public money, and exacted the fines
imposed by the people: they kept the military standards, entertained
foreign ambassadors, and took charge of the funerals of those who were
buried at the public expense.

Commanders returning from war, before they could obtain a triumph, were
obliged to take an oath before the quæstors, that they had written to
the senate a true account of the number of the enemy they had slain, and
of the citizens who were missing.

The office of the provincial quæstors was to attend the consuls or
prætors into their provinces; to furnish the provisions and pay for the
army; to exact the taxes and tribute of the empire, and sell the spoils
taken in war.

The quæstorship was the first step of preferment to the other public
offices, and to admission into the senate: its continuation was for but
one year, and no one could be a candidate for it until he had completed
his twenty-seventh year.

_Legati_ were those next in authority to the quæstors, and appointed
either by the senate or president of the province, who was then said to
_aliquem sibi legare_.

The office of the legati was very dignified and honorable. They acted as
lieutenants or deputies in any business for which they were appointed,
and were sometimes allowed the honor of lictors.

The _dictator_ was a magistrate invested with royal authority, created
in perilous circumstances, in time of pestilence, sedition, or when the
commonwealth was attacked by dangerous enemies.

His power was supreme both in peace and war, and was even above the
laws; he could raise and disband armies, and determine upon the life and
fortune of Roman citizens, without consulting the senate or people; when
he was appointed, all other magistrates resigned their offices except
the tribunes of the commons.

The dictator could continue in office only six months; but he usually
resigned when he had effected the business for which he had been
created. He was neither permitted to go out of Italy, nor ride on
horseback, without the permission of the people; but the principal check
against any abuse of power, was that he might be called to an account
for his conduct, when he resigned his office.

A master of horse was nominated by the dictator immediately after his
creation, usually from those of consular or prætorian rank, whose office
was to command the cavalry, and execute the orders of the dictator.

The _decemviri_ were ten men invested with supreme power, who were
appointed to draw up a code of laws, all the other magistrates having
first resigned their offices.

They at first behaved with great moderation, and administered justice to
the people every tenth day. Ten tables of laws were proposed by them,
and ratified by the people at the _comitia centuriata_.

As two other tables seemed to be wanting, _decemviri_ were again
appointed for another year, to make them. But as these new magistrates
acted tyrannically, and seemed disposed to retain their command beyond
the legal time, they were compelled to resign, chiefly on account of the
base passion of Appius Claudius, one of their number, for Virginia, a
virgin of plebeian rank, who was slain by her father to prevent her
falling into the decemvir's hands. The _decemviri_ all perished, either
in prison or in banishment.

The consuls and all the chief magistrates, except the censors and the
tribunes of the people, were preceded in public by a certain number,
according to their rank of office, called lictors, each bearing on his
shoulders as the insignia of office, the _fasces_ and _securis_, which
were a bundle of rods, with an axe in the centre of one end; but the
lictors in attendance on an inferior magistrate, carried the _fasces_
only, without the axe, to denote that he was not possessed of the power
of capital punishments.

They opened a way through the crowd for the consul, saying words like
these--"_cedite, Consul venit_," or "_date viam Consuli_." It was their
duty also to inflict punishment on the condemned.


_Of Military Affairs._

According to the Roman constitution, every free-born citizen was a
soldier, and bound to serve if called upon, in the armies of the state
at any period, from the age of seventeen to forty-six.

When the Romans thought themselves injured by any nation, they sent one
or more of the priests, called _feciales_, to demand redress, and if it
was not immediately given, thirty-three days were granted to consider
the matter, after which war might be justly declared; then the feciales
again went to their confines, and having thrown a bloody spear into
them, formally declared war against that nation.

The levy of the troops, the encampment, and much of the civil
discipline, as well as the temporary command of the army, was intrusted
to the military tribunes, six of whom were appointed to each legion.

During the early period of the republic, the standing army in time of
peace usually consisted of only four legions, two of which were
commanded by each consul, and they were relieved by new levies every
year, the soldiers then serving without any pay beyond their mere
subsistence. But this number was afterwards greatly augmented, and the
inconvenience of raw troops having been experienced, a fixed stipend in
money was allowed to the men, and they were constantly retained in the

The legion usually consisted of three hundred horse, and three thousand
foot: the different kinds of infantry which composed it were three, the
_hastati_, _principes_, and _triarii_. The first were so called because
they fought with spears: they consisted of young men in the flower of
life, and formed the first line in battle. The _principes_ were men of
middle age who occupied the second line. The _triarii_ were old soldiers
of approved valor, who formed the third line.

There was a fourth kind of troops, called _velĭtes_ from their swiftness
and agility: these did not form a part of the legion, and had no certain
post assigned them, but fought in scattered parties, wherever occasion
required, usually before the lines.

The imperial eagle was the common standard of the legion; it was of gilt
metal, borne on a spear by an officer of rank, styled, from his office,
_aquilifer_, and was regarded by the soldiery with the greatest
reverence. There were other ensigns, as A. B. C. D. in the frontispiece.

The only musical instruments used in the Roman army, were brazen
trumpets of different forms, adapted to the various duties of the

The arms of the soldiery varied according to the battalion in which they
served. Some were equipped with light javelins, and others with a
missile weapon, called _pilum_, which they flung at the enemy; but all
carried shields and short swords of that description, usually styled cut
and thrust, which they wore on the right side, to prevent its
interfering with the buckler, which they bore on the left arm.

The shield was of an oblong or oval shape, with an iron boss jutting out
in the middle, to glance off stones or darts; it was four feet long and
two and a half broad, made of pieces of wood joined together with small
plates of iron, and the whole covered with a bull's hide.

They were partly dressed in a metal cuirass with an under covering of
cloth; on the head they wore helmets of brass, either fastened under the
chin, with plates of the same metal, or reaching to the shoulders, which
they covered and ornamented on the top with flowing tufts of horse hair.

The light infantry were variously armed with slings and darts as well as
swords, and commonly wore a shaggy cap, in imitation of the head of some
wild beast, of which the skirt hung over their shoulders. The troops of
the line wore greaves on the legs and heavy iron-bound sandals on the
feet. These last were called _caligæ_, from which the emperor Caius
Cæsar obtained the name of Caligula, in consequence of having worn them
in his youth among the soldiery.

The cavalry were armed with spears and wore a coat of mail of chain
work, or scales of brass or steel, often plated with gold, under which
was a close garment that reached to their buskins. The helmet was
surmounted with a plume, and with an ornament distinctive of each rank,
or with some device according to the fancy of the wearers, and which was
then, as now in heraldry, denominated the crest. This term was _crista_,
derived from the resemblance of the ornament to the comb of a cock.

The Romans made no use of saddles or stirrups, but merely cloths folded
according to the convenience of the rider.

Among the instruments used in war were towers consisting of different
stories, from which showers of darts were discharged on the townsmen by
means of engines called _catapultæ_, _balistæ_, and _scorpiones_.

But the most dreadful machine of all was the battering ram: this was a
long beam like the mast of a ship, and armed at one end with iron, in
the form of a ram's head, whence it had its name. It was suspended by
the middle, with ropes or chains fastened to a beam which lay across two
posts, and hanging thus equally balanced, it was violently thrust
forward, drawn back, and again pushed forward, until by repeated strokes
it had broken down the wall.

The discipline of the army was maintained with great severity; officers
were exposed to degradation for misconduct, and the private soldier to
corporal punishment. Whole legions who had transgressed their military
duty were exposed to decimation, which consisted in drawing their names
by lot, and putting every tenth man to the sword.

The most common rewards were crowns of different forms; the mural crown
was presented to him who in the assault first scaled the rampart of a
town; the castral, to those who were foremost in storming the enemy's
entrenchments; the civic chaplet of oak leaves, to the soldier who saved
his comrade's life in battle, and the triumphal laurel wreath to the
general who commanded in a successful engagement. The radial crown was
that worn by the emperors.

When an army was freed from a blockade, the soldiers gave their
deliverer a crown called _obsidionalis_, made of the grass which grew in
the besieged place; and to him who first boarded the ship of an enemy, a
naval crown.

But the greatest distinction that could be conferred on a commander, was
a triumph; this was granted only by the senate, on the occasion of a
great victory. When decreed, the general returned to Rome, and was
appointed by a special edict to the supreme command in the city; on the
day of his entry, a triumphal arch was erected of sculptured masonry,
under which the procession passed.

First came a detachment of cavalry, with a band of military music
preceding a train of priests in their robes, who were followed by a
hecatomb of the whitest oxen with gilded horns entwined with flowers;
next were chariots, laden with the spoils of the vanquished; and after
them, long ranks of chained captives conducted by files of lictors. Then
came the conqueror, clothed in purple and crowned with laurel, having an
ivory sceptre in his hand; a band of children followed dressed in white,
who threw perfumes from silver censors, while they chanted the hymns of
victory and the praises of the conqueror. The march was closed by the
victorious troops, with their weapons wreathed with laurel; the
procession marched to the temple of Jupiter, where the victor descended
and dedicated his spoils to the gods.

When the objects of the war had been obtained by a bloodless victory, a
minor kind of triumph was granted, in which the general appeared on
horseback, dressed in white, and crowned with myrtle, while in his hand
he bore a branch of olive. No other living sacrifice was offered but
sheep, from the name of which the ceremony was called an ovation.

In consequence of the continual depredations to which the coast of Italy
was subject, the Romans commenced the building of a number of vessels,
to establish a fleet, taking for their model a Carthaginian vessel,
which was formerly stranded on their coast.

Their vessels were of two kinds, _naves onerariæ_, ships of burden, and
_naves longæ_, ships of war: the former served to carry provisions, &c.:
they were almost round, very deep, and impelled by sails.

The ships of war received their name from the number of banks of oars,
one above another, which they contained: thus a ship with three banks of
oars was called _triremis_, one with four, _quadriremis_, &c.; in these,
sails were not used.


_Assemblies, Judicial Proceedings, and Punishments of the Romans._

The assemblies of the whole Roman people, to give their vote on any
subject, were called _comitia_. There were three kinds, the _curiata_,
_centuriata_, and _tributa_.

The _comitia curiata_ were assemblies of the resident Roman citizens,
who were divided into thirty _curiæ_, a majority of which determined all
matters of importance that were laid before them, such as the election
of magistrates, the enacting of laws and judging of capital causes.

_Comitia centuriata_ were assemblies of the various centuries into which
the six classes of the people were divided.

Those who belonged to the first class were termed _classici_, by way of
pre-eminence--hence _auctores classici_, respectable or standard
authors; those of the last class, who had no fortune, were called
_capite censi_, or _proletarii_; and those belonging to the middle
classes were all said to be _infra classem_--below the class.

_Comitia centuriata_ were the most important of all the assemblies of
the people. In these, laws were enacted, magistrates elected, and
criminals tried. Their meeting was in the Campus Martius.

It was necessary that these assemblies should have been summoned
seventeen days previously to their meeting, in order that the people
might have time to reflect on the business which was to be transacted.

Candidates for any public office, who were to be elected here, were
obliged to give in their names before the _comitia_ were summoned. Those
who did so, were said to _petere consulatum vel præturam_, &c.; and they
wore a white robe called _toga candida_, to denote the purity of their
motives; on which account they were called _candidati_.

Candidates went about to solicit votes (_ambire_,) accompanied by a
nomenclator, whose duty it was to whisper the names of those whose votes
they desired; for it was supposed to be an insult not to know the name
of a Roman citizen.

_Centuria prærogativa_ was that century which obtained by ballot the
privilege of voting first.

When the _centuria prærogativa_ had been elected, the presiding
magistrate sitting in a tent (_tabernaculum_,) called upon it to come
and vote. All that century then immediately separated themselves from
the rest, and entered into that place of the Campus Martius, called
_septa_ or _ovilia_. Going into this, they had to cross over a little
bridge (_pons_;) hence the phrase _de ponte dejici_--to be deprived of
the elective franchise.

At the farther end of the _septa_ stood officers, called _diribitores_,
who handed waxen tablets to the voters, with the names of the candidates
written upon them. The voter then putting a mark (_punctus_) on the name
of him for whom he voted, threw the tablet into a large chest; and when
all were done, the votes were counted.

If the votes of a century for different magistrates, or respecting any
law, were equal when counted, the vote of the entire century was not
reckoned among the votes of the other centuries; but in trials of life
and death, if the tablets pro and con were equal, the criminal was

The candidate for whom the greatest number of centuries voted, was duly
elected, (_renunciatus est_:) when the votes were unanimous, he was said
_ferre omne punctum_--to be completely successful.

When a law was proposed, two ballots were given to each voter: one with
U. R. written upon it, _Uti Rogas_--as you propose; and the other with
A. for _Antiquo_--I am for the old one.

In voting on an impeachment, one tablet was marked with A. for
_Absolvo_--I acquit; hence this letter was called _litera salutaris_;
the other with C. for _condemno_--I condemn; hence C. was called _litera

In the _comitia tributa_, the people voted, divided into tribes,
according to their regions or wards; they were held to create inferior
magistrates, to elect certain priests, to make laws, and to hold trials.

The _comitia_ continued to be assembled for upwards of seven hundred
years, when that liberty was abridged by Julius Cæsar, and after him by
Augustus, each of whom shared the right of creating magistrates with the
people. Tiberius the second emperor, deprived the people altogether of
the right of election.

The extension of the Roman empire, the increase of riches, and
consequently of crime, gave occasion to a great number of new laws,
which were distinguished by the name of the person who proposed them,
and by the subject to which they referred.

Civil trials, or differences between private persons were tried in the
forum by the prætor. If no adjustment could be made between the two
parties, the plaintiff obtained a writ from the prætor, which required
the defendant to give bail for his appearance on the third day, at which
time, if either was not present when cited, he lost his cause, unless he
had a valid excuse.

Actions were either real, personal, or mixed. Real, was for obtaining a
thing to which one had a real right, but was possessed by another.
Personal, was against a person to bind him to the fulfilment of a
contract, or to obtain redress for wrongs. Mixed, was when the actions
had relation to persons and things.

After the plaintiff had presented his case for trial, judges were
appointed by the prætor, to hear and determine the matter, and fix the
number of witnesses, that the suit might not be unreasonably protracted.
The parties gave security that they would abide by the judgment, and the
judges took a solemn oath to decide impartially; after this the cause
was argued on both sides, assisted by witnesses, writings, &c. In giving
sentence, the votes of a majority of the judges were necessary to decide
against the defendant; but if the number was equally divided, it was
left to the prætor to determine.

Trial by jury, as established with us, was not known, but the mode of
judging in criminal cases, seems to have resembled it. A certain number
of senators and knights, or other citizens of respectability, were
annually chosen by the prætor, to act as his assessors, and some of
these were appointed to sit in judgment with him. They decided by a
majority of voices, and returned their verdict, either guilty, not
guilty, or uncertain, in which latter instance the case was deferred;
but if the votes for acquittal and condemnation were equal, the culprit
was discharged.

There were also officers called _centumviri_, to the number at first of
100, but afterwards of 180, who were chosen equally, from the 35 tribes,
and together with the prætor constituted a court of justice.

Candidates for office wore a white robe, rendered shining by the art of
the fuller. They did not wear tunics, or waist-coats, either that they
might appear more humble, or might more easily show the scars they had
received on the breast.

For a long time before the election, they endeavored to gain the favor
of the people, by every popular art, by going to their houses, by
shaking hands with those they met, by addressing them in a kindly
manner, and calling them by name, on which occasion they commonly had
with them a monitor, who whispered in their ears every body's name.

Criminal law was in many instances more severe than it is at the present
day. Thus adultery, which now only subjects the offender to a civil
suit, was by the Romans, as well as the ancient Jews, punished

Forgery was not punished with death, unless the culprit was a slave; but
freemen guilty of that crime were subject to banishment, which deprived
them of their property and privileges; and false testimony, coining, and
those offences which we term misdemeanors, exposed them to an
interdiction from fire and water, or in fact an excommunication from
society, which necessarily drove them into banishment.

The punishments inflicted among the Romans, were--fine, (_damnum_,)
bonds, (_vincula_,) stripes, (_verbera_,) retaliation, (_talio_,)
infamy, (_ignominia_,) banishment, (_exilium_,) slavery, (_servitus_,)
and death.

The methods of inflicting death were various; the chief were--beheading
(_percussio securi_), strangling in prison (_strangulatio_), throwing a
criminal from that part of the prison called Robur (_precipitatio de
robore_), throwing a criminal from the Tarpeian rock (_dejectio e rupe
Tarpeia_), crucifixion (_in crucem actio_), and throwing into the river
(_projectio in profluentem_).

The last-mentioned punishment was inflicted upon parricides, or the
murderers of any relation. So soon as any one was convicted of such
crimes, he was immediately blindfolded as unworthy of the light, and in
the next place whipped with rods. He was then sewed up in a sack, and
thrown into the sea. In after times, to add to the punishment, a serpent
was put in the sack; and still later, an ape, a dog, and a cock. The
sack which held the malefactor was called _Culeus_, on which account the
punishment itself is often signified by the same name.

In the time of Nero, the punishment for treason was, to be stripped
stark naked, and with the head held up by a fork to be whipped to death.


_The Roman Dress._

The ordinary garments of the Romans were the _toga_ and the _tunic_.

The _toga_ was a loose woollen robe, of a semicircular form, without
sleeves, open from the waist upwards, but closed from thence downwards,
and surrounding the limbs as far as the middle of the leg. The upper
part of the vest was drawn under the right arm, which was thus left
uncovered, and, passing over the left shoulder, was there gathered in a
knot, whence it fell in folds across the breast: this flap being tucked
into the girdle, formed a cavity which sometimes served as a pocket, and
was frequently used as a covering for the head. Its color was white,
except in case of mourning, when a black or dark color was worn. The
Romans were at great pains to adjust the toga and make it hang

It was at first worn by women as well as men--but afterwards matrons
wore a different robe, called _stola_, with a broad border or fringe,
reaching to the feet. Courtezans, and women condemned for adultery, were
not permitted to wear the _stola_--hence called _togatæ_.

Roman citizens only were permitted to wear the _toga_, and banished
persons were prohibited the use of it. The _toga picta_ was so termed
from the rich embroidery with which it was covered:--the _toga palmata_
from its being wrought in figured palm leaves--this last was the
triumphal habit.

Young men, until they were seventeen years of age, and young women until
they were married, wore a gown bordered with purple, called the _toga

After they had arrived at the age of seventeen, young men assumed the
_toga virilis_.

The _tunic_ was a white woollen vest worn below the _toga_, coming down
a little below the knees before, and to the middle of the leg behind, at
first without sleeves. _Tunics_ with sleeves were reckoned effeminate:
but under the emperors, these were used with fringes at the hands. The
_tunic_ was fastened by a girdle or belt about the waist, to keep it
tight, which also served as a purse.

The women wore a _tunic_ which came down to their feet and covered their

Senators had a broad stripe of purple, sewed on the breast of their
tunic, called _latus clavus_, which is sometimes put for the _tunic_
itself, or the dignity of a senator.

The _equites_ were distinguished by a narrow stripe called _angustus

The Romans wore neither stockings nor breeches, but used sometimes to
wrap their legs and thighs with pieces of cloth called from the parts
which they covered, _tibialia_ and _feminalia_.

The chief coverings for the feet were the _calceus_, which covered the
whole foot, somewhat like our shoes, and was tied above with a _latchet_
or lace, and the _solea_, a slipper or sandal which covered only the
sole of the foot, and was fastened on with leather thongs or strings.

The shoes of the senators came up to the middle of their legs, and had a
golden or silver crescent on the top of the foot. The shoes of the
soldiery were called _caligæ_, sometimes shod with nails. Comedians wore
the _socci_ or slippers, and tragedians the _cothurni_.

The ancient Romans went with their heads bare except at sacred rites,
games, festivals, on journey or in war.--Hence, of all the honors
decreed to Cæsar by the senate, he is said to have been chiefly pleased
with that of always wearing a laurel crown, because it covered his
baldness, which was reckoned a deformity. At games and festivals a
woollen cap or bonnet was worn.

The head-dress of women was at first very simple. They seldom went
abroad, and when they did they almost always had their faces veiled. But
when riches and luxury increased, dress became, with many, the chief
object of attention. They anointed their hair with the richest perfumes,
and sometimes gave it a bright yellow color, by means of a composition
or wash. It was likewise adorned with gold and pearls and precious
stones: sometimes with garlands and chaplets of flowers.


_Of the Fine Arts and Literature._

The Romans invented short or abridged writing, which enabled their
secretaries to collect the speeches of orators, however rapidly
delivered. The characters used by such writers were called notes. They
did not consist in letters of the alphabet, but certain marks, one of
which often expressed a whole word, and frequently a phrase. The same
description of writing is known at the present day by the word
_stenography_. From notes came the word _notary_, which was given to all
who professed the art of quick writing.

The system of note-writing was not suddenly brought to perfection: it
only came into favor when the professors most accurately reported an
excellent speech which Cato pronounced in the senate. The orators, the
philosophers, the dignitaries, and nearly all the rich patricians then
took for secretaries note-writers, to whom they allowed handsome pay. It
was usual to take from their slaves all who had intellect to acquire a
knowledge of that art.

The fine arts were unknown at Rome, until their successful commanders
brought from Syracuse, Asia, Macedonia and Corinth, the various
specimens which those places afforded. So ignorant, indeed, were they of
their real worth, that when the victories of Mummius had given him
possession of some of the finest productions of Grecian art, he
threatened the persons to whom he intrusted the carriage of some antique
statues and rare pictures, "that if they lost those, they should give
him new ones." A taste by degrees began to prevail, which they gratified
at the expense of every liberal feeling of public justice and private

The art of printing being unknown, books were sometimes written on
parchment, but more generally on a paper made from the leaves of a plant
called _papyrus_, which grew and was prepared in Egypt. This plant was
about ten cubits high, and had several coats or skins, one above
another, which they separated with a needle.

The instrument used for writing was a reed, sharpened and split at the
point, like our pens, called _calamus_. Their ink was sometimes composed
of a black liquid emitted by the cuttle fish.

The Romans commonly wrote only on one side of the paper, and joined one
sheet to the end of another, till they finished what they had to write,
and then rolled it on a cylinder or staff, hence called _volumen_.

But _memoranda_ or other unimportant matters, not intended to be
preserved, were usually written on tablets spread with wax. This was
effected by means of a metal pencil called _stylus_, pointed at one end
to scrape the letters, and flat at the other to smooth the wax when any
correction was necessary.

Julius Cæsar introduced the custom of folding letters in a flat square
form, which were then divided into small pages, in the manner of a
modern book. When forwarded for delivery, they were usually perfumed and
tied round with a silken thread, the ends of which were sealed with
common wax.

Letters were not subscribed; but the name of the writer, and that of the
person to whom they were addressed, were inserted at the
commencement--thus, Julius Cæsar to his friend Antony, health. At the
end was written a simple, Farewell!

The Romans had many private and public libraries. Adjoining to some of
them were museums for the accommodation of a college or society of
learned men, who were supported there at the public expense, with a
covered walk and seats, where they might dispute.

The first public library at Rome, and probably in the world, was erected
by Asinius Pollio, in the temple of liberty, on Mount Aventine. This was
adorned by the statues of the most celebrated men.


_Roman Houses._

The houses of the Romans are supposed at first to have been nothing more
than thatched cottages. After the city was burnt by the Gauls, it was
rebuilt in a more solid and commodious manner; but the streets were very

In the time of Nero the city was set on fire, and more than two-thirds
of it burnt to the ground. That tyrant himself is said to have been the
author of this conflagration. He beheld it from the tower of Mæcenas,
and being delighted, as he said, with the beauty of the flames, played
the taking of Troy, dressed like an actor.

The city was then rebuilt with greater regularity and splendor--the
streets were widened, the height of the houses was limited to seventy
feet, and each house had a portico before it, fronting the street.

Nero erected for himself a palace of extraordinary extent and
magnificence. The enclosure extended from the Palatine to the Esquiline
mount, which was more than a mile in breadth, and it was entirely
surrounded with a spacious portico embellished with sculpture and
statuary, among which stood a colossal statue of Nero himself, one
hundred and twenty feet in height. The apartments were lined with
marble, enriched with jasper, topaz, and other precious gems: the timber
works and ceilings were inlaid with gold, ivory and mother of pearl.

This noble edifice, which from its magnificence obtained the appellation
of the golden house, was destroyed by Vespasian as being too gorgeous
for the residence even of a Roman emperor.

The lower floors of the houses of the great were, at this time, either
inlaid marble or mosaic work. Every thing curious and valuable was used
in ornament and furniture. The number of stories was generally two, with
underground apartments. On the first, were the reception-rooms and
bed-chamber; on the second, the dining-room and apartments of the women.

The Romans used portable furnaces in their rooms, on which account they
had little use for chimneys, except for the kitchen.

The windows of some of their houses were glazed with a thick kind of
glass, not perfectly transparent; in others, isinglass split into thin
plates was used. Perfectly transparent glass was so rare and valuable at
Rome, that Nero is said to have given a sum equal to £50,000 for two
cups of such glass with handles.

Houses not joined with the neighboring ones were called _Insulæ_, as
also lodgings or houses to let. The inhabitants of rented houses or
lodgings, _Insularii_ or _Inquilini_.

The principal parts of a private house were the _vestibulum_, or court
before the gate, which was ornamented towards the street with a portico
extending along the entire front.

The _atrium_ or hall, which was in the form of an oblong square,
surrounded by galleries supported on pillars. It contained a hearth on
which a fire was kept constantly burning, and around which were ranged
the _lares_, or images of the ancestors of the family.

These were usually nothing more than waxen busts, and, though held in
great respect, were not treated with the same veneration as the
_penates_, or household gods, which were considered of divine origin,
and were never exposed to the view of strangers, but were kept in an
inner apartment, called _penetralia_.

The outer door was furnished with a bell: the entrance was guarded by a
slave in chains: he was armed with a staff, and attended by a dog.

The houses had high sloping roofs, covered with broad tiles, and there
was usually an open space in the centre to afford light to the inner

The Romans were unacquainted with the use of chimnies, and were
consequently much annoyed by smoke. To remedy this, they sometimes
anointed the wood of which their fuel was composed, with lees of oil.

The windows were closed with blinds of linen or plates of horn, but more
generally with shutters of wood. During the time of the emperors, a
species of transparent stone, cut into plates, was used for the purpose.
Glass was not used for the admission of light into the apartments until
towards the fifth century of the christian era.

A villa was originally a farm-house of an ordinary kind, and occupied by
the industrious cultivator of the soil; but when increasing riches
inspired the citizens with a taste for new pleasures, it became the
abode of opulence and luxury.

Some villas were surrounded with large parks, in which deer and various
foreign wild animals were kept, and in order to render the sheep that
pastured on the lawn ornamental, we are told that they often dyed their
fleeces with various colours.

Large fish ponds were also a common appendage to the villas of persons
of fortune, and great expense was often incurred in stocking them. In
general, however, country houses were merely surrounded with gardens, of
which the Romans were extravagantly fond.


_Marriages and Funerals._

A marriage ceremony was never solemnized without consulting the
auspices, and offering sacrifices to the gods, particularly to Juno; and
the animals offered up on the occasion were deprived of their gall, in
allusion to the absence of every thing bitter and malignant in the
proposed union.

A legal marriage was made in three different ways, called
_confarreatio_, _usus_ and _coemptio_.

The first of these was the most ancient. A priest, in the presence of
ten witnesses, made an offering to the gods, of a cake composed of salt
water, and that kind of flour called "_far_," from which the name of the
ceremony was derived. The bride and bridegroom mutually partook of this,
to denote the union that was to subsist between them, and the sacrifice
of a sheep ratified the interchange of their vows.

When a woman, with the consent of her parents or guardian, lived an
entire year with a man, with the intention of becoming his wife, it was
called _usus_.

_Coemptio_ was an imaginary purchase which the husband and wife made of
each other, by the exchange of some pieces of money.

A plurality of wives was forbidden among the Romans. The marriageable
age was from fourteen for men, and twelve for girls.

On the wedding day the bride was dressed in a simple robe of pure white,
bound with a zone of wool, which her husband alone was to unloose: her
hair was divided into six locks, with the point of a spear, and crowned
with flowers; she wore a saffron colored veil, which enveloped the
entire person: her shoes were yellow, and had unusually high heels to
give her an appearance of greater dignity.

Thus attired she waited the arrival of the bridegroom, who went with a
party of friends and carried her off with an appearance of violence,
from the arms of her parents, to denote the reluctance she was supposed
to feel at leaving her paternal roof.

The nuptial ceremony was then performed; in the evening she was
conducted to her future home, preceded by the priests, and followed by
her relations, friends, and servants, carrying presents of various
domestic utensils.

The door of the bridegroom's house was hung with garlands of flowers.
When the bride came hither, she was asked who she was; she answered,
addressing the bridegroom, "Where thou art Caius, there shall I be
Caia," intimating that she would imitate the exemplary life of Caia, the
wife of Tarquinius Priscus. She was then lifted over the threshold, or
gently stepped over, it being considered ominous to touch it with her
feet, because it was sacred to Vesta the goddess of Virgins.

Upon her entrance, the keys of the house were delivered to her, to
denote her being intrusted with the management of the family, and both
she and her husband touched fire and water to intimate that their union
was to last through every extremity. The bridegroom then gave a great
supper to all the company. This feast was accompanied with music and
dancing, and the guests sang a nuptial song in praise of the new married

The Romans paid great attention to funeral rites, because they believed
that the souls of the unburied were not admitted into the abodes of the
dead; or at least wandered a hundred years along the river Styx before
they were allowed to cross it.

When any one was at the point of death, his nearest relation present
endeavored to catch his last breath with his mouth, for they believed
that the soul or living principle thus went out at the mouth. The corpse
was then bathed and perfumed; dressed in the richest robes of the
deceased, and laid upon a couch strewn with flowers, with the feet
towards the outer door.

The funeral took place by torch light. The corpse was carried with the
feet foremost on an open bier covered with the richest cloth, and borne
by the nearest relatives and friends. It was preceded by the image of
the deceased, together with those of his ancestors.

The procession was attended by musicians, with wind instruments of a
larger size and a deeper tone than those used on less solemn occasions;
mourning women were likewise hired to sing the praises of the deceased.

On the conclusion of the ceremony the sepulchre was strewed with
flowers, and the mourners took a last farewell of the remains of the
deceased. Water was then thrown upon the attendants, by a priest, to
purify them from the pollution which the ancients supposed to be
communicated by any contact with a corpse.

The manes of the dead were supposed to be propitiated by blood:--on this
account a custom prevailed of slaughtering, on the tomb of the deceased,
those animals of which he was most fond when living.

When the custom of burning the dead was introduced, a funeral pile was
constructed in the shape of an altar, upon which the corpse was laid;
the nearest relative then set fire to it:--perfumes and spices were
afterwards thrown into the blaze, and when it was extinguished, the
embers were quenched with wine. The ashes were then collected and
deposited in an urn, to be kept in the mausoleum of the family.


_Customs at Meals._

The food of the ancient Romans was of the simplest kind; they rarely
indulged in meat, and wine was almost wholly unknown. So averse were
they to luxury, that epicures were expelled from among them. But when
riches were introduced by the extension of conquest, the manners of the
people were changed, and the pleasures of the table became the chief
object of attention.

Their principal meal was what they called _cœna_ or supper. The usual
time for it was the ninth hour, or about three o'clock in the afternoon.

While at meals, they reclined on sumptuous couches of a semicircular
form, around a table of the same shape. This custom was introduced from
the nations of the east, and was at first adopted only by the men, but
afterwards allowed also to the women.

The dress worn at table differed from that in use on other occasions,
and consisted merely of a loose robe of a slight texture, and generally

Before supper the Romans bathed themselves, and took various kinds of
exercise, such as tennis, throwing the discus or quoit, riding, running,
leaping, &c.

Small figures of Mercury, Hercules and the penates, were placed upon the
table, of which they were deemed the presiding genii; and a small
quantity of wine was poured upon the board, at the commencement and end
of the feast, as a libation in honor of them, accompanied by a prayer.

As the ancients had not proper inns for the accommodation of travellers,
the Romans, when they were in foreign countries, or at a distance from
home, used to lodge at the houses of certain persons whom they in return
entertained at their houses in Rome. This was esteemed a very intimate
connexion, and was called _hospitium_, or _jus hospitii_: hence _hospes_
is put both for a host and a guest.


_Weights, Measures and Coins._

The principal Weight in use among the Romans, was the pound, called _As_
or _Libra_, which was equal to 12 oz. avoirdupoise, or 16 oz. 18 pwts.
and 13-3/4 grains, troy weight. It was divided into twelve ounces, the
names of which were as follow: _Uncia_, 1 oz.--_Sextans_, 2
oz.--_Triens_, 3 oz.--_Quadrans_, 4 oz.--_Quincunx_, 5 oz.--_Semis_, 1/2
lb.--_Septunx_, 7 oz--_Bes_, 8 oz.--_Dodrans_, 9 oz.--_Dextans_, 10
oz.--_Deunx_, 11 oz.

The As and its divisions were applied to anything divided into twelve
parts, as well as to a pound weight. The twelth part of an acre was
called Uncia and half a foot, Semis, &c.

The Measures for Things Dry.--_Modius_, a peck--_Semimodius_, a
gallon--_Sextanus_, a pint--_Hemina_, one-half pint, and 3 smaller
measures, for which we have not equivalent names in English. One Modius
contained 2 _Semimodii_--each Semimodius contained 8 _Sextarii_--each
Sextarius, 2 _Heminæ_--each Hemina, 4 _Acetabula_--each Acetabulum,
1-1/2 _Cyathi_--each Cyathus--4 _Ligulæ_.

The Liquid Measures of Capacity were the _Culeus_, which was equal to
144-1/2 gallons--it contained 20 _Amphoræ_ or _Quadrantales_--each
Amphora, 2 _Urnæ_--each Urna, 4 _Congii_--each Congius, 6
_Sextarii_--and each Sextarius, 2 _Quartarii_ or naggins--each
Quartarius, 2 _Heminæ_--each Hemina, 3 _Acetabula_ or glasses--each
Acetabulum, 1-1/2 _Cyathi_--and each Cyathus, 4 _Ligulæ_.

The Measures of Length in use among the Romans were, _Millarium_ or
_Mille_, a mile--each mile contained 8 _Stadia_, or furlongs--each
Stadium, 125 _Passus_--each Pace, 5 feet.

The _Pes_, or foot, was variously divided. It contained 4 _Palmi_ or
handbreadths, each of which was therefore 3 inches long--and it
contained 16 _Digiti_, or finger breadths, each of which was therefore
three-quarters of an inch long--and it contained 12 _Unciæ_, or inches:
any number of which was used to signify the same number of ounces.

_Cubitus_, a cubit, was 1-1/2 feet long--_Pollex_, a thumb's breadth, 1
inch--_Palmipes_, a foot and hand's breadth, i.e. 15 inches
long--_Pertica_, a perch, 10 feet long--the lesser _Actus_ was a space
of ground 120 feet long by four broad--the greater Actus was 120 feet
square--two square Actus made a _Jugerum_, or acre, which contained
therefore 28,000 square feet.

The first money in use among the Romans was nothing more than unsightly
lumps of brass, which were valued according to their weight. Servius
Tullius stamped these, and reduced them to a fixed standard. After his
reign, the Romans improved the old, and added some new coins. Those in
most frequent use, were the _As_, _Sestertius_, _Victoriatus_,
_Denarius_, _Aureus_.

The As was a brass coin, stamped on one side with the beak of a ship,
and on the other with the double head of Janus. It originally weighed
one pound; but was afterwards reduced to half an ounce, without
suffering, however, any diminution of value. It was worth one cent and
forty-three hundredths.

Sestertius was a silver coin, stamped on one side with Castor and
Pollux, and on the opposite with the city. This was so current a coin,
that the word _Nummus_, money, is often used absolutely to express it.
It was worth three cents and fifty-seven hundredths.

Denarius was a silver coin, valued at ten asses; that is, fourteen cents
and thirty-five hundredths of our money. It was stamped with the figure
of a carriage drawn by four beasts, and on the other side, with a head
covered with a helmet, to represent Rome.

Victoriatus was a silver coin, half the value of a Denarius. It was
stamped with the figure of Victory, from whence its name was derived.
Being worth five Asses, it was called _Quinarius_.

_Libella_, _Sembella_, _Teruncius_, were also silver coins, but of less
value than the above. Libella was of the same worth as the As--Sembella
was half a Libella, equal to seventy-one hundredths of a cent--and the
Teruncius was half of a Sembella.

Aureus Denarius was a gold coin, about the size of a silver Denarius,
and probably stamped in a similar manner. At first, forty Aurei were
made out of a pound of gold; but under the Emperors it was not so
intrinsically valuable, being mixed with alloy.

The value of the Aureus, which was also called _Solidus_, varied at
different times. According to Tacitus, it was valued and exchanged for
25 Denarii, which amounted to three dollars, fifty-eight cents and
seventy-five hundredths.

The Abbreviations used by the Romans to express these various kinds of
money, were, for the As, L.--for the Sesterce, L. L. S. or H. S.--for
the Quinary, V. or λ.--for the Denarius, X. or :!:

Sesterces were the kind of money in which the Romans usually made their
computations.--1,000 Sesterces made up a sum called _Sestertium_, the
value of which in our money, was thirty-five dollars and seventy cents.

The art of reckoning by Sesterces was regulated by these rules:

First--If a numeral adjective were joined to Sestertii, and agreed with
it in case, it signified just so many Sesterces; as _decem Sestertii_,
10 Sesterces--thirty-five cents and seven tenths.

Second--If a numeral adjective, of a different case, were joined to the
genitive plural of Sestertius, it signified so many thousand Sesterces;
as _decem Sestertium_, 10,000 Sesterces--$357.

Third--If a numeral adverb were placed by itself, or joined to
Sestertium, it signified so many hundred thousand Sesterces; as
_Decies_, or _decies Sestertium_, 1,000,000 _Sesterces_--$35,700.

Fourth--When the sums are expressed by letters, if the letters have a
line over them, they signify also so many hundred thousand Sesterces:
thus, H. S. M̅. C̅.--denotes the sum of 1,100 times 100,000 Sesterces,
i.e. 110,000,000--nearly $4,000,000.



Celestial Gods.

JUPITER, the supreme god of the Pagans, though set forth by historians
as the wisest of princes, is described by his worshippers as infamous
for his vices. There were many who assumed the name of Jupiter; the most
considerable, however, and to whom the actions of the others are
ascribed, was the Jupiter of Crete, son to Saturn and Rhea, who is
differently said to have had his origin in Crete, at Thebes in Bœotia,
and among the Messenians.

His first warlike exploit, and, indeed, the most memorable of his
actions, was his expedition against the Titans, to deliver his parents,
who had been imprisoned by these princes, because Saturn, instead of
observing an oath he had sworn, to destroy his male children, permitted
his son Jupiter, by a stratagem of Rhea, to be educated. Jupiter, for
this purpose, raised a gallant army of Cretans, and engaged the Cecrŏpes
as auxiliaries in this expedition; but these, after taking his money,
having refused their services, he changed into apes. The valor of
Jupiter so animated the Cretans, that by their aid he overcame the
Titans, released his parents, and, the better to secure the reign of his
father, made all the gods swear fealty to him upon an altar, which has
since gained a place among the stars.

This exploit of Jupiter, however, created jealousy in Saturn, who,
having learnt from an oracle, that he should be dethroned by one of his
sons, secretly meditated the destruction of Jupiter as the most
formidable of them. The design of Saturn being discovered by one of his
council, Jupiter became the aggressor, deposed his father, threw him
into Tartarus, ascended the throne, and was acknowledged as supreme by
the rest of the gods.

The reign of Jupiter being less favorable to his subjects than that of
Saturn, gave occasion to the name of the silver age, by which is meant
an age inferior in happiness to that which preceded, though superior to
those which followed.

The distinguishing character of his person is majesty, and every thing
about him carries dignity and authority with it; his look is meant to
strike sometimes with terror, and sometimes with gratitude, but always
with respect. The Capitoline Jupiter, or the Jupiter Optimus Maximus,
(him now spoken of,) was the great guardian of the Romans, and was
represented, in his chief temple, on the Capitoline hill, as sitting on
a curule chair, with the lightning in his right hand, and a sceptre in
his left.

The poets describe him as standing amidst his rapid horses, or his
horses that make the thunder; for as the ancients had a strange idea of
the brazen vault of heaven, they seem to have attributed the noise in a
thunder storm to the rattling of Jupiter's chariot and horses on that
great arch of brass all over their heads, as they supposed that he
himself flung the flames out of his hand, which dart at the same time
out of the clouds, beneath this arch.

APOLLO was son of Jupiter and Latona, and brother of Diana, and of all
the divinities in the pagan world, the chief cherisher and protecter of
the polite arts, and the most conspicuous character in heathen theology;
nor unjustly, from the glorious attributes ascribed to him, for he was
the god of light, medicine, eloquence, music, poetry and prophecy.




    Pope's Homer's Iliad. B. 20. L. 51.
    Pl. 3. ]

Amongst the most remarkable adventures of this god, was his quarrel with
Jupiter, on account of the death of his son Æsculapius, killed by that
deity on the complaint of Pluto, that he decreased the number of the
dead by his cures. Apollo, to revenge this injury, killed the Cyclops
who forged the thunder-bolts. For this he was banished heaven, and
endured great sufferings on earth, being forced to hire himself as a
shepherd to Admetus, king of Thessaly. During his pastoral servitude, he
is said to have invented the lyre to sooth his troubles. He was so
skilled in the bow, that his arrows were always fatal. Python and the
Cyclops experienced their force.

He became enamored of Daphne, daughter of the river Peneus of Thessaly.
The god pursued her, but she flying to preserve her chastity, was
changed into a laurel, whose leaves Apollo immediately consecrated to
bind his temples, and become the reward of poetry.

His temple at Delphi became so frequented, that it was called the oracle
of the earth; all nations and princes vieing in their munificence to it.
The Romans erected to him many temples.

The animals sacred to him were the wolf, from his acuteness of sight,
and because he spared his flocks when the god was a shepherd; the crow
and the raven, because these birds were supposed to have, by instinct,
the faculty of prediction; the swan, from its divining its own death;
the hawk, from its boldness in flight; and the cock, because he
announces the rising of the sun.

As to the signification of this fabulous divinity, all are agreed that,
by Apollo, the sun is understood in general, though several poetical
fictions have relation only to the sun, and not to Apollo. The great
attributes of this deity were divination, healing, music, and archery,
all which manifestly refer to the sun. Light dispelling darkness, is a
strong emblem of truth dissipating ignorance;--the warmth of the sun
conduces greatly to health; and there can be no juster symbol of the
planetary harmony, than Apollo's lyre, the seven strings of which are
said to represent the seven planets. As his darts are reported to have
destroyed the monster Python, so his rays dry up the noxious moisture
which is pernicious to vegetation and fertility.

Apollo was very differently represented in different countries and
times, according to the character he assumed. In general he is described
as a beardless youth, with long flowing hair floating as it were in the
wind, comely and graceful, crowned with laurel, his garments and sandals
shining with gold. In one hand he holds a bow and arrows, in the other a
lyre; sometimes a shield and the graces. At other times he is invested
in a long robe, and carries a lyre and a cup of nectar, the symbol of
his divinity.

He has a threefold authority: in heaven, he is the Sun; and by the lyre
intimates, that he is the source of harmony: upon earth he is called
_Liber Pater_, and carries a shield to show he is the protector of
mankind, and their preserver in health and safety. In the infernal
regions he is styled _Apollo_, and his arrows show his authority;
whosoever is stricken with them being immediately sent thither. As the
Sun, Apollo was represented in a chariot, drawn by the four horses,
_Eöus_, _Æthon_, _Phlegon_, and _Pyröeis_.

Considered in his poetical character, he is called indifferently either
_Vates_ or _Lyristes_; music and poetry, in the earliest ages of the
world, having made but one and the same profession.

MERCURY was the offspring of Jupiter and Maia, the daughter of Atlas.
Cyllëne, in Arcadia, is said to have been the scene of his birth and
education, and a magnificent temple was erected to him there.

That adroitness which formed the most distinguishing trait in his
character, began very early to render him conspicuous. Born in the
morning, he fabricated a lyre, and played on it by noon; and, before
night, filched from Apollo his cattle. The god of light demanded instant
restitution, and was lavish of menaces, the better to insure it. But his
threats were of no avail, for it was soon found that the same thief had
disarmed him of his quiver and bow. Being taken up into his arms by
Vulcan, he robbed him of his tools, and whilst Venus caressed him for
his superiority to Cupid in wrestling, he slipped off her cestus
unperceived. From Jupiter he purloined his sceptre, and would have made
as free with his thunder-bolt, had it not proved too hot for his

From being usually employed on Jupiter's errands, he was styled the
messenger of the gods. The Greeks and Romans considered him as presiding
over roads and cross-ways, in which they often erected busts of him. He
was esteemed the god of orators and eloquence, the author of letters and
oratory. The _caduceus_, or rod, which he constantly carried, was
supposed to be possessed of an inherent charm that could subdue the
power of enmity: an effect which he discovered by throwing it to
separate two serpents found by him fighting on Mount Cytheron: each
quitted his adversary, and twined himself on the rod, which Mercury,
from that time, bore as the symbol of concord. His musical skill was
great, for to him is ascribed the discovery of the three tones, treble,
bass, and tenor.

It was part of his function to attend on the dying, detach their souls
from their bodies, and conduct them to the infernal regions. In
conjunction with Hercules, he patronized wrestling and the gymnastic
exercises; to show that address upon these occasions should always be
united with force. The invention of the art of thieving was attributed
to him, and the ancients used to paint him on their doors, that he, as
god of thieves, might prevent the intrusion of others. For this reason
he was much adored by shepherds, who imagined he could either preserve
their own flocks from thieves, or else help to compensate their losses,
by dexterously stealing from their neighbors.

At Rome on the fifteenth of May, the month so named from his mother, a
festival was celebrated to his honor, by merchants, traders, &c. in
which they sacrificed a sow, sprinkled themselves, and the goods they
intended for sale, with water from his fountain, and prayed that he
would both blot out all the frauds and perjuries they had already
committed, and enable them to impose again on their buyers.

Mercury is usually described as a beardless young man, of a fair
complexion, with yellow hair, quick eyes, and a cheerful countenance,
having wings annexed to his hat and sandals, which were distinguished by
the names of _petăsus_ and _talaria_: the _caduceus_, in his hand, is
winged likewise, and bound round with two serpents: his face is
sometimes exhibited half black, on account of his intercourse with the
infernal deities: he has often a purse in his hand, and a goat or cock,
or both, by his side.

The epithets applied to Mercury by the ancients were Εναγωνιος, the
presider over combats; Στροφαιος, the guardian of doors; Εμπολαιος, the
merchant; Εριουνιος, beneficial to mortals; Δολιος, subtle; Ἡγεμονιος,
the guide, or conductor.

As to his origin, it must be looked for amongst the Phœnicians. The bag
of money which he held signified the gain of merchandise; the wings
annexed to his head and his feet were emblematic of their extensive
commerce and navigation; the caduceus, with which he was said to conduct
the spirit of the deceased to Hades, pointing out the immortality of the
soul, a state of rewards and punishments after death, and a
resuscitation of the body: it is described as producing three leaves
together, whence it was called by Homer, the _golden three-leaved wand_.

BACCHUS was the son of Jupiter, by Semĕle, daughter of Cadmus, king of
Thebes, in which city he is said to have been born. He was the god of
good-cheer, wine, and hilarity; and of him, as such, the poets have not
been sparing in their praises: on all occasions of mirth and jollity,
they constantly invoked his presence, and as constantly thanked him for
the blessings he bestowed. To him they ascribed the forgetfulness of
cares, and the delights of social converse.

He is described as a youth of a plump figure, and naked, with a ruddy
face, and an effeminate air; he is crowned with ivy and vine leaves, and
bears in his hand a thyrsus, or javelin with an iron head, encircled
with ivy and vine leaves: his chariot is sometimes drawn by lions, at
others by tigers, leopards, or panthers; and surrounded by a band of
Satyrs, Bacchæ, and Nymphs, in frantic postures; whilst old Silēnus, his
preceptor, follows on an ass, which crouches with the weight of his

The women who accompained him as his priestesses, were called Mænădes,
from their madness; Thyădes, from their impetuosity; Bacchæ, from their
intemperate depravity; and Mimallōnes, or Mimallonĭdes, from their
mimicking their leaders.

The victims agreeable to him were the goat and the swine; because these
animals are destructive to the vine. Among the Egyptians they sacrificed
a swine to him before their doors; and the dragon, and the pye on
account of its chattering: the trees and plants used in his garlands
were the fir, the oak, ivy, the fig, and vine; as also the daffodil, or
narcissus. Bacchus had many temples erected to him by the Greeks and the

Whoever attentively reads Horace's inimitable ode to this god, will see
that Bacchus meant no more than the improvement of the world by tillage,
and the culture of the vine.




    Pope's Homer's Illiad, B. 8. L. 47.
    Pl. 4.]

MARS was the son of Jupiter and Juno, or of Jupiter and Erys. He was
held in high veneration among the Romans, both on account of his being
the father of Romulus, their founder, and because of their own genius,
which always inclined them to war. Numa, though otherwise a pacific
prince, having, during a great pestilence, implored the favor of the
gods, received a small brass buckler, called _ancīle_ from heaven, which
the nymph Egeria advised him to keep with the utmost care, as the fate
of the people and empire depended upon it. To secure so valuable a
pledge, Numa caused eleven others of the same form to be made, and
intrusted the preservation of these to an order of priests, which he
constituted for the purpose, called _Salii_, or priests of Mars, in
whose temple the twelve ancilia were deposited.

The fiercest and most ravenous creatures were consecrated to Mars: the
horse, for his vigor; the wolf, for his rapacity and quickness of sight;
the dog, for his vigilance; and he delighted in the pye, the cock, and
the vulture. He was the reputed enemy of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom
and arts, because in time of war they are trampled on, without respect,
as well as learning and justice.

Ancient monuments represent this deity as of unusual stature, armed with
a helmet, shield, and spear, sometimes naked, sometimes in a military
habit; sometimes with a beard, and sometimes without. He is often
described riding in a chariot, drawn by furious horses, completely
armed, and extending his spear with one hand, while, with the other, he
grasps a sword imbued with blood. Sometimes Bellona, the goddess of war,
(whether she be his sister, wife or daughter, is uncertain,) is
represented as driving his chariot, and inciting the horses with a
bloody whip. Sometimes Discord is exhibited as preceding his chariot,
while Clamor, Fear, Terror, with Fame, full of eyes, ears, and tongues,
appear in his train.


_Celestial Goddesses._

JUNO, daughter of Saturn and Rhea, was sister and wife of Jupiter.
Though the poets agree that she came into the world at the same birth
with her husband, yet they differ as to the place. Some fix her nativity
at Argos, others at Samos, near the river Imbrasus. The latter opinion
is, however, the more generally received. Samos, was highly honored, and
received the name of Parthenia, from the consideration that so eminent a
_virgin_ as Juno was educated and dwelt there till her marriage.

As queen of heaven, Juno was conspicuous for her state. Her usual
attendants were Terror, Boldness--Castor and Pollux, accompanied by
fourteen nymphs; but her most inseparable adherent was Iris, who was
always ready to be employed in her most important affairs: she acted as
messenger to Juno, like Mercury to Jupiter. When Juno appeared as the
majesty of heaven, with her sceptre and diadem beset with lilies and
roses, her chariot was drawn by peacocks, birds sacred to her; for which
reason, in her temple at Eubœa, the emperor Adrian made her a most
magnificent offering of a golden crown, a purple mantle, with an
embroidery of silver, describing the marriage of Hercules and Hebe, and
a large peacock, whose body was of gold, and his train of most valuable
jewels. There never was a wife more jealous than Juno; and few who have
had so much reason: on which account we find from Homer that the most
absolute exertions of Jupiter were barely sufficient to preserve his

There was none except Apollo whose worship was more solemn or extensive.
The history of the prodigies she had wrought, and of the vengeance she
had taken upon persons who had vied with, or slighted her, had so
inspired the people with awe, that, when supposed to be angry, no means
were omitted to mitigate her anger; and had Paris adjudged to her the
prize of Beauty, the fate of Troy might have been suspended. In
resentment of this judgment, and to wreak her vengeance on Paris, the
house of Priam, and the Trojan race, she appears in the Iliad to be
fully employed. Minerva is commissioned by her to hinder the Greeks from
retreating; she quarrels with Jupiter; she goes to battle; cajoles
Jupiter with the cestus of Venus; carries the orders of Jupiter to
Apollo and Iris; consults the gods on the conflict between Æneas and
Achilles; sends Vulcan to oppose Xanthus; overcomes Diana, &c.

She is generally pictured like a matron, with a grave and majestic air,
sometimes with a sceptre in her hand, and a veil on her head: she is
represented also with a spear in her hand, and sometimes with a
_patĕra_, as if she were about to sacrifice: on some medals she has a
peacock at her feet, and sometimes holds the Palladium. Homer represents
her in a chariot adorned with gems, having wheels of ebony, nails of
silver, and horses with reins of gold, though more commonly her chariot
is drawn by peacocks, her favourite birds. The most obvious and striking
character of Juno, and that which we are apt to imbibe the most early of
any, from the writings of Homer and Virgil, is that of an imperious and
haughty wife. In both of these poets we find her much oftener scolding
at Jupiter than caressing him, and in the tenth Æneid in particular,
even in the council of the gods, we have a remarkable instance of this.

If, in searching out the meaning of this fable, we regard the account of
Varro, we shall find, that by Juno was signified the earth; by Jupiter,
the heavens; but if we believe the Stoics, by Juno is meant the air and
its properties, and by Jupiter the ether: hence Homer supposes she was
nourished by Oceănus and Tethys: that is, by the sea; and agreeable to
this mythology, the poet makes her shout aloud in the army of the
Greeks, the air being the cause of the sound.

MINERVA, or Pallas, was one of the most distinguished of the heathen
deities, as being the goddess of wisdom and science. She is supposed to
have sprung, fully grown and completely armed, from the head of Jupiter.

One of the most remarkable of her adventures, was her contest with
Neptune. When Cecrops founded Athens, it was agreed that whoever of
these two deities could produce the most beneficial gift to mankind,
should have the honor of giving their name to the city. Neptune, with a
stroke of his trident, formed a horse, but Minerva causing an olive-tree
to spring from the ground, obtained from the god the prize. She was the
goddess of war, wisdom, and arts, such as spinning, weaving, music, and
especially of the pipe. In a word, she was patroness of all those
sciences which render men useful to society and themselves, and entitle
them to the esteem of posterity.

She is described by the poets, and represented by the sculptors and
painters in a standing attitude, completely armed, with a composed but
smiling countenance, bearing a golden breast-plate, a spear in her right
hand, and the ægis in her left, having on it the head of Medusa,
entwined with snakes. Her helmet was usually encompassed with olives, to
denote that peace is the end of war, or rather because that tree was
sacred to her: at her feet is generally placed the owl or the cock, the
former being the emblem of wisdom, and the latter of war.

Minerva represents wisdom, that is, skilful knowledge joined with
discreet practice, and comprehends the understanding of the noblest
arts, the best accomplishments of the mind, together with all the
virtues, but more especially that of chastity. She is said to be born of
Jupiter's brain, because the ingenuity of man did not invent the useful
arts and sciences, which, on the contrary, were derived from the
fountain of all wisdom. She was born armed, because the human soul,
fortified with wisdom and virtue, is invincible; in danger, intrepid;
under crosses, unbroken; in calamities, impregnable.

The owl, a bird seeing in the dark, was sacred to Minerva; this is
symbolical of a wise man, who, scattering and dispelling the clouds of
error, is clear-sighted where others are blind.

VENUS was one of the most celebrated deities of the ancients. She was
the goddess of beauty, the mother of love, and the queen of laughter.
She is said to have sprung from the froth of the sea, near the island
Cyprus, after the mutilated part of the body of Urănus had been thrown
there by Saturn. Hence she obtained the name of Aphrodite, from Αφρος,
_froth_. As soon as Venus was born, she is said to have been laid in a
beautiful couch or shell, embellished with pearls, and by the assistance
of Zephyrus wafted first to Cythēræ, an island in the Ægæan, and thence
to Cyprus; where she arrived in the month of April. Here, immediately on
her landing, flowers sprung beneath her feet, the Horæ or Seasons
awaited her arrival, and having braided her hair with fillets of gold,
she was thence wafted to heaven. As she was born laughing, an emanation
of pleasure beamed from her countenance, and her charms were so
attractive, in the assembly of the gods, that most of them desired to
obtain her in marriage. Vulcan, however, the most deformed of the
celestials, became the successful competitor.

One of the most remarkable adventures of this goddess was her contest
with Juno and Minerva for the superiority of beauty. At the marriage of
Peleus and Thetis, the goddess Discordia, resenting her not being
invited, threw a golden apple among the company, with this inscription,
_Let the fairest take it_. The competitors for this prize were Juno,
Venus, and Minerva. Jupiter referred them to Paris, who then led a
shepherd's life on Mount Ida. Before him the goddesses appeared. Juno
offered him empire or power, Minerva wisdom, and Venus promised him the
possession of the most beautiful woman in the world. Fatally for himself
and family, the shepherd, more susceptible of love than of ambition or
virtue, decided the contest in favor of Venus.

The sacrifices usually offered to Venus, were white goats and swine,
with libations of wine, milk and honey. The victims were crowned with
flowers, or wreaths of myrtle, the rose and myrtle being sacred to
Venus. The birds sacred to her were the swan, the dove, and the sparrow.

It were endless to enumerate the variety of attitudes in which Venus is
represented on antique gems and medals; sometimes she is clothed in
purple, glittering with diamonds, her head crowned with myrtle
intermixed with roses, and drawn in her car of ivory by swans, doves, or
sparrows: at other times she is represented standing with the Graces
attending her, and in all positions Cupid is her companion. In general
she has one of the prettiest, as Minerva has sometimes one of the
handsomest faces that can be conceived. Her look, as she is represented
by the ancient artists and poets, has all the enchanting airs and graces
that they could give it.

LATONA. This goddess was daughter of Cæus the Titan and Phœbe, or,
according to Homer, of Saturn. As she grew up extremely beautiful,
Jupiter fell in love with her; but Juno, discovering their intercourse,
not only expelled her from heaven, but commanded the serpent Python to
follow and destroy both her and her children. The earth also was caused
by the jealous goddess to swear that she would afford her no place in
which to bring forth. It happened, however, at this period, that the
island Delos, which had been broken from Sicily, lay under water, and
not having taken the oath, was commanded by Neptune to rise in the Ægean
sea, and afford her an asylum. Latona, being changed by Jupiter into a
quail, fled thither, and from this circumstance occasioned it to be
called Ortygia, from the name in Greek of that bird. She here gave birth
to Apollo and Diana. Niŏbe, daughter of Tantălus, and wife of Amphīon,
king of Thebes, experienced the resentment of Latona, whose children
Apollo and Diana, at her instigation, destroyed. Her beauty became fatal
to Tityus, the giant, who was put to death also by the same divinities.
After having been long persecuted by Juno, she became a powerful deity,
beheld her children exalted to divine honors, and received adoration
where they were adored.

In explanation of the fable, it may be observed, that as Jupiter is
taken for the maker of all things, so Latona is physically understood to
be the _matter_ out of which all things were made, which, according to
Plato, is called Λητω or Latona, from ληθειν to lie _hid_ or
_concealed_, because all things originally lay hid in darkness till the
production of _light_, or birth of Apollo.

AURORA, goddess of the morning, was the youngest daughter of Hyperion
and Theia, or, according to some, of Titan and Terra. Orpheus calls her
the harbinger of Titan, for she is the personification of that light
which precedes the appearance of the sun. The poets describe this
goddess as rising out of the ocean in a saffron robe, seated in a
flame-colored car, drawn by two or four horses, expanding with her rosy
fingers the gates of light, and scattering the pearly dew. Virgil
represents her horses as of flame color, and varies their number from
two to four, according as she rises slower or faster.

She is said to have been daughter of Titan and the earth, because the
light of the morning seems to rise out of the earth, and to proceed from
the sun, which immediately follows it. She is styled mother of the four
winds, because, after a calm in the night, the winds rise in the
morning, as attendant upon the sun, by whose heat and light they are
begotten. There is no other goddess of whom we have so many beautiful
descriptions in the poets.


_Terrestrial Gods._

SATURN was the son of Cœlus and Titæa or Terra, and married his sister
Vesta. She, with her other sisters, persuaded their mother to join them
in a plot, to exclude Titan, their elder brother, from his birthright,
and raise Saturn to his father's throne. Their design so far succeeded,
that Titan was obliged to resign his claim, though on condition, that
Saturn brought up no male children, and thus the succession might revert
to the Titans again. Saturn, it is said, observed this covenant so
faithfully, that he devoured, as soon as they were born, his legitimate
sons. His punctuality, however, in this respect, was at last frustrated
by the artifice of Vesta, who, being delivered of twins, Jupiter and
Juno, presented the latter to her husband, and concealing the former,
sent him to be nursed on Mount Ida in Crete, committing the care of him
to the Curētes and Corybantes.

The reign of Saturn was so mild and happy, that the poets have given it
the name of the golden age. The people, who before wandered about like
beasts, were then reduced to civil society; laws were enacted, and the
art of tilling and sowing the ground introduced; whence Varro tells us,
that Saturn had his name _a satu_, from _sowing_.

He was usually represented as an old man, bare-headed and bald, with all
the marks of infirmity in his eyes, countenance, and figure. In his
right hand they sometimes placed a sickle or scythe; at others, a key,
and a circumflexed serpent biting its tail, in his left. He sometimes
was pictured with six wings, and feet of wool, to show how insensibly
and swiftly time passes. The scythe denoted his cutting down and
subverting all things, and the serpent the revolution of the year, _quod
in sese volvitur annus_.

JANUS was a pagan deity, particularly of the ancient Romans. He was
esteemed the wisest sovereign of his time, and because he was supposed
to know what was past, and what was to come, they feigned that he had
two faces, whence the Latins gave him the epithets of Biceps, Bifrons,
and Biformis.

He is introduced by Ovid as describing his origin, office and form: he
was the ancient Chaos, or confused mass of matter before the formation
of the world, the reduction of which into order and regularity, gave him
his divinity. Thus deified, he had the power of _opening_ and _shutting_
every thing in the universe: he was arbiter of peace and war, and keeper
of the door of heaven. He was the god who presided over the beginning of
all undertakings; the first libations of wine and wheat were offered to
him, and the preface of all prayers directed to him. The first month of
the year took its denomination from Janus.

It is certain that Janus early obtained divine honors among the Romans.
Numa ordained that his temple should be shut in time of peace, and
opened in time of war, from which ceremony Janus was called Clusius and

The peculiar offerings to Janus were cakes of new meal and salt, with
new wine and frankincense. In the feasts instituted by Numa, the
sacrifice was a ram, and the solemnities were performed by men, in the
manner of exercises and combats. Then all artificers and tradesmen began
their works, and the Roman consuls for the new year solemnly entered on
their office: all quarrels were laid aside, mutual presents were made,
and the day concluded with joy and festivity. Janus was seated in the
centre of twelve altars, in allusion to the twelve months of the year,
and had on his hands fingers to the amount of the days in the year.
Sometimes his image had four faces, either in regard to the four seasons
of the year, or to the four quarters of the world: he held in one hand a
key, and in the other a sceptre; the former may denote his opening, as
it were, and shutting the world, by the admission and exclusion of
light; and the latter his dominion over it.

VULCAN was the offspring of Jupiter and Juno. He was so remarkably
deformed that Jupiter threw him down from heaven to the isle of Lemnos.
In this fall he broke his leg, as he also would have broken his neck,
had he not been caught by the Lemnians. It is added that he was a day in
falling from heaven to earth. Some report that Juno herself, disgusted
at his deformity, hurled down Vulcan into the sea, where he was nursed
by Thetis and her nymphs, whilst others contend that he fell upon land,
and was brought up by apes. It is probable that Juno had some hand in
his disgrace, since Vulcan, afterwards, in resentment of the injury,
presented his mother with a golden chair, which was so contrived by
springs unseen, that being seated in it she was unable to rise, till the
inventor was prevailed upon to grant her deliverance.

The first abode of Vulcan on earth was in the isle of Lemnos. There he
set up his forges, and taught men the malleability and polishing of
metals. Thence he removed to the Liparean islands, near Sicily, where,
with the assistance of the Cyclops, he made Jupiter fresh thunder-bolts
as the old ones decayed. He also wrought an helmet for Pluto, which
rendered him invisible; a trident for Neptune, which shook both land and
sea; and a dog of brass for Jupiter, which he animated so as to perform
the functions of nature. At the request of Thetis he fabricated the
divine armor of Achilles, whose shield is so beautifully described by
Homer; as also the invincible armor of Æneas, at the entreaty of Venus.
However disagreeable the person of Vulcan might be, he was susceptible
notwithstanding of love. His first passion was for Minerva, having
Jupiter's consent to address her; but his courtship, in this instance,
failed of success, not only on account of his person, but also because
the goddess had vowed perpetual virginity. He afterwards became the
husband of Venus.




    Pope's Homer's Odyssey. B. 12. L. 2.
    Pl. 5.]

He was reckoned among the gods presiding over marriage, from the torches
lighted by him to grace that solemnity. It was the custom in several
nations, after gaining a victory, to pile the arms of the enemy in a
heap on the field of battle, and make a sacrifice of them to Vulcan. As
to his worship, Vulcan had an altar in common with Prometheus, who first
invented fire, as did Vulcan the use of it, in making arms and utensils.
His principal temple was in a consecrated grove at the foot of mount
Ætna, in which was a fire continually burning. This temple was guarded
by dogs, which had the discernment to distinguish his votaries by
tearing the vicious, and fawning upon the virtuous.

He was highly honored at Rome. Romulus built him a temple without the
walls of the city, the augurs being of opinion that the god of fire
ought not to be admitted within. But the highest mark of respect paid
him by the Romans was, that those assemblies were kept in his temple
where the most important concerns of the republic were debated, the
Romans thinking they could invoke nothing more sacred to confirm their
treaties and decisions, than the avenging fire of which that god was the

This deity, as the god of fire, was represented differently in different
nations: the Egyptians depicted him proceeding from an egg, placed in
the mouth of Jupiter, to denote the radical or natural heat diffused
through all created beings. In ancient gems and medals he is figured as
a lame, deformed and squalid man, with a beard, and hair neglected; half
naked; his habit reaching down to his knee only, and having a round
peaked cap on his head, a hammer in his right hand, and a smith's tongs
in his left, working at the anvil, and usually attended by the Cyclops,
or by some of the gods or goddesses for whom he is employed.

The poets described him as blackened and hardened from the forge, with a
face red and fiery whilst at his work, and tired and heated after it. He
is almost always the subject either of pity or ridicule. In short, the
great celestial deities seem to have admitted Vulcan among them as great
men used to keep buffoons at their tables, to make them laugh, and to be
the butt of the whole company.

If we wish to come at the probable meaning of this fable, we must have
recourse to Egyptian antiquities. The Horus of the Egyptians was the
most mutable figure on earth, for he assumed shapes suitable to all
seasons, and to all ranks. To direct the husbandman he wore a rural
dress; by a change of attributes he became the instructer of smiths and
other artificers, whose instruments he appeared adorned with. This Horus
of the smiths had a short or lame leg, to signify that agriculture or
husbandry will halt without the assistance of the handicraft or mechanic
arts. In this apparatus he was called _Mulciber_, (from _Mulci_, to
direct and manage, and _ber_ or _beer_, a cave or mine, comes Mulciber,
the king of the mines or forges;) he was called also Hephaistos, (from
_Aph_, _father_, and _Esto_, _fire_, comes Ephaisto, or Hephaiston, the
father of fire; and from _Wall_, to work, and Canan, to _hasten_, comes
_Wolcon_, Vulcan, or _work furnished_;) all which names the Greeks and
Romans adopted with the figure, and, as usual, converted from a _symbol_
to a _god_.

ÆOLUS, god of the winds, is said to have been the son of Jupiter by
Acasta or Sigesia, daughter of Hippotas. His residence was, according to
most authors, at Rhegium in Italy; but wherever it was, he is
represented as holding the winds, enchained in a vast cave, to prevent
their committing any more such devastations as they had before
occasioned; for, to their violence was imputed not only the disjunction
of Sicily from Italy, but also the separation of Europe from Africa, by
which a passage was opened for the ocean to form the Mediterranean sea.
According to some, the Æolian, or Lipări islands were uninhabited till
Lipărus, son of Auson, settled a colony there, and gave one of them his
name. Æŏlus married his daughter Cyăne, peopled the rest and succeeded
him on the throne. He was a generous and good prince, who hospitably
entertained Ulysses, and as a proof of his kindness, bestowed on him
several skins, in which he had enclosed the winds. The companions of
Ulysses, unable to restrain their curiosity, having opened the skins,
the winds in consequence were set free, and occasioned the wildest
uproar; insomuch that Ulysses lost all his vessels, and was himself
alone saved by a plank. It may not be improper to remark, that over the
rougher winds the poets have placed Æŏlus; over the milder, Juno; and
the rain, thunder and lightning they have committed to Jupiter himself.

MOMUS, son of Somnus and Nox, was the god of pleasantry and wit, or
rather the jester of the celestial assembly; for, like other monarchs,
it was but reasonable that Jupiter too should have his fool. We have an
instance of Momus's fantastic humor in the contest between Neptune,
Minerva, and Vulcan, for skill. The first had made a bull, the second a
house, and the third a man. Momus found fault with them all. He disliked
the bull because his horns were not placed before his eyes, that he
might give a surer blow: he condemned Minerva's house because it was
immovable, and could not therefore be taken away if placed in a bad
neighborhood; and in regard to Vulcan's man, he said he ought to have
made a window in his breast, by which his heart might be seen, and his
secrets discovered.


_Terrestrial Goddesses._

CYBELE, _or_ Vesta _the elder_. It is highly necessary, in tracing the
genealogy of the heathen deities, to distinguish between this goddess
and Vesta the _younger_, her daughter, because the poets have been
faulty in confounding them, and ascribing the attributes and actions of
the one to the other. The elder Vesta, or Cybĕle, was daughter of Cœlus
and Terra, and wife of her brother Saturn, to whom she bore a numerous
offspring. She had a variety of names besides that of Cybĕle, under
which she is most generally known, and which she obtained from Mount
Cybĕlus, in Phrygia, where sacrifices to her were first instituted. Her
sacrifices and festivals, like those of Bacchus, were celebrated with a
confused noise of timbrels, pipes, and cymbals; the sacrificants howling
as if mad, and profaning both the temple of the goddess, and the ears of
their hearers with the most obscene language and abominable gestures.

Under the character of Vesta, she is generally represented upon ancient
coins in a sitting posture, with a lighted torch in one hand, and a
sphere or drum in the other. As Cybĕle, she makes a more magnificent
appearance, being seated in a lofty chariot drawn by lions, crowned with
towers, and bearing in her hand a key. Being goddess, not of cities
only, but of all things which the earth sustains, she was crowned with
turrets, whilst the key implies not only her custody of cities, but also
that in winter the earth locks those treasures up, which she brings
forth and dispenses in summer: she rides in a chariot, because
(fancifully) the earth hangs suspended in the air, balanced and poised
by its own weight; and that the chariot is supported by wheels, because
the earth is a voluble body and turns round. Her being drawn by lions,
may imply that nothing is too fierce and intractable for a motherly
piety and tenderness to tame and subdue. Her garments are painted with
divers colors, but chiefly green, and figured with the images of several
creatures, because such a dress is suitable to the variegated and more
prevalent appearance of the earth.

VESTA was the daughter of Vesta the elder, by Saturn, and sister of
Ceres, Juno, Pluto, Neptune and Jupiter. She was so fond of a single
life, that when her brother Jupiter ascended the throne, and offered to
grant whatever she asked, her only desires were the preservation of her
virginity, and the first oblation in all sacrifices. Numa Pompilius, the
great founder of religion among the Romans, is said first to have
restored the ancient rites and worship of this goddess, to whom he
erected a circular temple, which in succeeding ages was not only much
embellished, but also, as the earth was supposed to retain a constant
fire within, a perpetual fire was kept up in the temple of Vesta, the
care of which was intrusted to a select number of young females
appointed from the first families in Rome, and called _Vestal virgins_.


    Pl. 6.]

As this Vesta was the goddess of fire, the Romans had no images of her
in her temple; the reason for which, assigned by Ovid, is that fire has
no representative, as no bodies are produced from it: yet as Vesta was
the guardian of houses or hearths, her image was usually placed in the
porch or entry, and daily sacrifices were offered up to her. It is
certain nothing could be a stronger or more lively symbol of the supreme
being than fire; accordingly we find this emblem in early use throughout
the east. The Romans looked upon Vesta as one of the tutelar deities of
their empire; and they so far made the safety and fate of Rome depend on
the preservation of the sacred fire in the temple of Vesta, that they
thought the extinction of it foreboded the most terrible misfortune.

CERES was daughter of Saturn and Ops, or Vesta. Sicily, Attica, Crete,
and Egypt, claim the honor of her birth, each country producing the
ground of its claims, though general suffrage favors the first. In her
youth, being extremely beautiful, Jupiter fell in love with her, and by
him she had Perephăta, called afterwards Proserpine. For some time she
took up her residence in Corcyra, so called in later times, from a
daughter of Asōpus, there buried, but anciently _Drepănum_, from the
sickle used by the goddess in reaping, which had been presented her by
Vulcan. Thence she removed to Sicily, where the violence of Pluto
deprived her of Proserpine. Disconsolate at her loss, she importuned
Jupiter for redress; but obtaining little satisfaction, she lighted
torches at the volcano of Mount Ætna, and mounting her car, drawn by
winged dragons, set out in search of her beloved daughter. This
transaction the Sicilians annually commemorated by running about in the
night with lighted torches and loud exclamations.

It is disputed, by several nations, who first informed Ceres where her
daughter was, and thence acquired the reward, which was the art of
sowing corn. Some ascribe the intelligence to Triptolĕmus, and his
brother Eubulĕus; but the generality of writers agree in conferring the
honor on the nymph Arethūsa, daughter of Nereus and Doris, and companion
of Diana, who, flying from the pursuit of the river Alphēus, saw
Proserpine in the infernal regions.

It must be owned that Ceres was not undeserving the highest titles
bestowed upon her, being considered as the deity who had blessed men
with the art of cultivating the earth, having not only taught them to
plough and sow, but also to reap, harvest, and thresh out their grain;
to make flour and bread, and fix limits or boundaries to ascertain their
possessions. The garlands used in her sacrifices were of myrtle, or
rape-weed; but flowers were prohibited, Proserpine being carried off as
she gathered them. The poppy alone was sacred to her, not only because
it grows amongst corn, but because, in her distress, Jupiter gave it her
to eat, that she might sleep and forget her troubles. Cicero mentions an
ancient temple dedicated to her at Catania, in Sicily in which the
offices were performed by matrons and virgins only, no man being

If to explain the fable of Ceres, we have recourse to Egypt; it will be
found, that the goddess of Sicily and Eleusis, or of Rome and Greece, is
no other than the Egyptian Isis, brought by the Phœnicians into those
countries. The very name of _mystery_, from _mistor_, a _veil_ or
_covering_, given to the Eleusinian rites, performed in honor of Ceres,
shows them to have been of Egyptian origin. The Isis, or the
emblematical figure exhibited at the feast appointed for the
commemoration of the state of mankind after the flood, bore the name of
Ceres, from Cerets, _dissolution_ or _overthrow_. She was represented in
mourning, and with torches, to denote the grief she felt for the loss of
her favorite daughter _Persephŏne_ (which word, translated, signifies
corn lost) and the pains she was at to recover her. The poppies with
which this Isis was crowned, signified the joy men received at their
first abundant crop, the word which signifies a _double crop_, being
also a name for the _poppy_. Persephŏne or Proserpine found again, was a
lively symbol of the recovery of corn, and its cultivation, almost lost
in the deluge. Thus, emblems of the most important events which ever
happened in the world, simple in themselves, became when transplanted to
Greece and Rome, sources of fable and idolatry.

Ceres was usually represented of a tall majestic stature, fair
complexion, languishing eyes, and yellow or flaxen hair; her head
crowned with a garland of poppies, or ears of corn; holding in her right
hand a bunch of the same materials with her garland, and in her left a
lighted torch. When in a car or chariot, she is drawn by lions, or
winged dragons.

MUSÆ, the _Muses_. This celebrated sisterhood is said to have been the
daughters of Jupiter and Mnēmŏsyne. They were believed to have been born
on Mount Piĕrus, and educated by Euphēme. In general they were
considered as the tutelar goddesses of sacred festivals and banquets,
and the patronesses of polite and useful arts. They supported virtue in
distress, and preserved worthy actions from oblivion. Homer calls them
superintendants and correctors of manners. In respect to the sciences,
these sisters had each their separate province; though poetry seemed
more immediately under their united protection.

These divinities, formerly called Mosæ, were so named from a Greek word
signifying _to inquire_; because, by inquiring of them, the sciences
might be learnt. Others say they had their name from their resemblance,
because there is a similitude, an infinity, and relation, betwixt all
the sciences, in which they agree together, and are united with each
other; for which reason they are often painted with their hands joined,
dancing in a circle round Apollo their leader.

They were represented crowned with flowers, or wreaths of palm, each
holding some instrument, or emblem of the science or art over which she
presided. They were depicted as in the bloom of youth; and the bird
sacred to them was the swan, probably because that bird was consecrated
to their sovereign Apollo. There was a fountain of the Muses near Rome,
in the meadow where Numa used to meet the goddess Egeria; the care of
which and of the worship paid to the Muses, was intrusted to the Vestal

Their names were as follows: Clio, who presided over history. Her name
is derived from κλειος, _glory_, or from κλειω, to _celebrate_. She is
generally represented under the form of a young woman crowned with
laurel, holding in her right hand a trumpet, and in her left a book:
others describe her with a lute in one hand, and in the other a
_plectrum_, or quill.

Euterpe is distinguished by _tibiæ_ or pipes whence she was called also
Tibīcĭna. Some say logic was invented by her. It was very common with
the musicians of old to play on two pipes at once, agreeably to the
remarks before Terence's plays, and as we often actually find them
represented in the remains of the artists. It was over this species of
music that Euterpe presided, as we learn from the first ode of Horace.

Thălīa presided over comedy, and whatever was gay, amiable, and
pleasant. She holds a mask in her right hand, and on medals she is
represented leaning against a pillar. She was the Muse of comedy, of
which they had a great mixture on the Roman stage in the earliest ages
of their poetry, and long after. She is distinguished from the other
Muses in general by a mask, and from Melpomĕne, the tragic Muse, by her
shepherd's crook, not to speak of her look, which is meaner than that of
Melpomĕne, or her dress, which is shorter, and consequently less noble,
than that of any other of the Muses.

Melpomĕne was so styled from the dignity and excellence of her song. She
presided over epic and lyric poetry. To her the invention of all
mournful verses, and, particularly, of tragedy, was ascribed; for which
reason Horace invokes her when he laments the death of Quintilius Varus.
She is usually represented of a sedate countenance, and richly habited,
with sceptres and crowns in one hand, and in the other a dagger. She has
her mask on her head, which is sometimes placed so far backward that it
has been mistaken for a second face. Her mask shows that she presided
over the stage; and she is distinguished from Thălīa, or the comic Muse,
by having more of dignity in her look, stature, and dress. Melpomĕne was
supposed to preside over all melancholy subjects, as well as tragedy; as
one would imagine at least from Horace's invoking her in one of his
odes, and his desiring her to crown him with laurel in another.

Terpsĭchŏre; that is, the _sprightly_. Some attribute her name to the
pleasure she took in dancing; others represent her as the protectress of
music, particularly the flute; and add, that the chorus of the ancient
drama was her province, to which also logic has been annexed. She is
further said to be distinguished by the flutes which she holds, as well
on medals as on other monuments.

Erăto, presided over elegiac or amorous poetry, and dancing, whence she
was sometimes called Saltatrix. She is represented as young, and crowned
with myrtle and roses, having a lyre in her right hand, and a bow in her
left, with a little winged Cupid placed by her, armed with his bow and

Polyhymnia. Her name, which is of Greek origin, and signifies _much
singing_, seems to have been given her for the number of her songs,
rather than her faithfulness of memory. To Polyhymnia belonged that
harmony of voice and gesture which gives a perfection to oratory and
poetry. She presided over rhetoric, and is represented with a crown of
pearls and a white robe, in the act of extending her right hand, as if
haranguing, and holding in her left a scroll, on which the word
_Suadere_ is written; sometimes, instead of the scroll, she appears
holding a _caduceus_ or sceptre.

Urania, or Cœlestis. She is the Muse who extended her care to all divine
or celestial subjects, such as the hymns in praise of the gods, the
motions of the heavenly bodies, and whatever regarded philosophy or
astronomy. She is represented in an azure robe, crowned with stars and
supporting a large globe with both hands: on medals this globe stands
upon a tripod.

Calliŏpe, who presides over eloquence and heroic poetry; so called from
the ecstatic harmony of her voice. The poets, who are supposed to
receive their inspirations from the Muses, chiefly invoked Calliŏpe, as
she presided over the hymns made in honor of the gods. She is spoken of
by Ovid, as the chief of all the Muses. Under the same idea, Horace
calls her _Regina_, and attributes to her the skill of playing on what
instrument she pleases.

ASTRÆA, or ASTREA, goddess of justice, was daughter of Astræus, one of
the Titans; or according to Ovid, of Jupiter and Themis. She descended
from heaven in the golden age, and inspired mankind with principles of
justice and equity, but the world growing corrupt, she re-ascended
thither, where she became the constellation in the Zodiac called Virgo.

This goddess is represented with a serene countenance, her eyes bound or
blinded, having a sword in one hand, and in the other a pair of
balances, equally poised, or rods with a bundle of axes, and sitting on
a square stone. Among the Egyptians, she is described with her left hand
stretched forth and open, but without a head. According to the poets,
she was conversant on earth during the golden and silver ages, but in
those of brass and iron, was forced by the wickedness of mankind to
abandon the earth and retire to heaven. Virgil hints that she first
quitted courts and cities, and betook herself to rural retreats before
she entirely withdrew.

NEMESIS, daughter of Jupiter and Necessity, or, according to some, of
Oceănus and Nox, had the care of revenging the crimes which human
justice left unpunished. The word Nemĕsis is of Greek origin, nor was
there any Latin word that expressed it, therefore the Latin poets
usually styled this goddess Rhamnusia, from a famous statue of Nemĕsis
at Rhamnus in Attica. She is likewise called Adrastea, because Adrastus,
king of Argos, first raised an altar to her. Nemĕsis is plainly divine
vengeance, or the eternal justice of God, which severely punishes the
wicked actions of men. She is sometimes represented with wings, to
denote the celerity with which she follows men to observe their actions.


_Gods of the Woods._

_Pan_, the god of shepherds and hunters, leader of the nymphs, president
of the mountains, patron of a country life, and guardian of flocks and
herds, was likewise adored by fishermen, especially those who lived
about the promontories washed by the sea. There is scarcely any of the
gods to whom the poets have given a greater diversity of parents. The
most common opinion is, that he was the son of Mercury and Penelŏpe. As
soon as he was born, his father carried him in a goat's skin to heaven,
where he charmed all the gods with his pipe, so that they associated him
with Mercury in the office of their messenger. After this he was
educated on Mount Mænălus, in Arcadia, by Siŏne and the other nymphs,
who, attracted by his music, followed him as their conductor.

Pan, though devoted to the pleasures of rural life, distinguished
himself by his valor. In the war of the giants he entangled Typhon in
his nets. Bacchus, in his Indian expedition, was accompanied by him with
a body of Satyrs, who rendered Bacchus great service. When the Gauls
invaded Greece, and were just going to pillage Delphi, Pan struck them
with such a sudden consternation by night, that they fled without being
pursued: hence the expression of a _Panic fear_, for a sudden terror.
The Romans adopted him among their deities, by the names of Lupercus and
Lycæus, and built a temple to him at the foot of Mount Palatine.

He is represented with a smiling, ruddy face, and thick beard covering
his breast, two horns on his head, a star on his bosom, legs and thighs
hairy, and the nose, feet, and tail of a goat. He is clothed in a
spotted skin, having a shepherd's crook in one hand, and his pipe of
unequal reeds in the other, and is crowned with pine, that tree being
sacred to him.

Pan probably signifies the universal nature, proceeding from the divine
mind and providence, of which the heaven, earth, sea, and the eternal
fire, are so many members. Mythologists are of opinion that his upper
parts are like a man, because the superior and celestial part of the
world is beautiful, radiant, and glorious: his horns denote the rays of
the sun, as they beam upwards, and his long beard signifies the same
rays, as they have an influence upon the earth: the ruddiness of his
face resembles the splendor of the sky, and the spotted skin which he
wears is the image of the starry firmament: his lower parts are rough,
hairy, and deformed, to represent the shrubs, wild creatures, trees, and
mountains here below: his goat's feet signify the solidity of the earth;
and his pipe of seven reeds, that celestial harmony which is made by the
seven planets; lastly, his sheep-hook denotes that care and providence
by which he governs the universe.

SILENUS. As Bacchus was the god of good humor and fellowship, so none of
the deities appeared with a more numerous or splendid retinue, in which
Silēnus was the principal person; of whose descent, however, we have no
accounts to be relied on. Some say he was born at Malea, a city of
Sparta; others at Nysa in Arabia; but the most probable conjecture is,
that he was a prince of Caria, noted for his equity and wisdom. But
whatever be the fate of these different accounts, Silēnus is said to
have been preceptor to Bacchus, and was certainly a very suitable one
for such a deity, the old man being heartily attached to wine. He
however distinguished himself greatly in the war with the giants, by
appearing in the conflict on an ass, whose braying threw them into
confusion; for which reason, or because, when Bacchus engaged the
Indians, their elephants were put to flight by the braying of the ass,
it was raised to the skies, and there made a constellation.

The historian tells us that Silēnus was the first of all the kings that
reigned at Nysa; that his origin is not known, it being beyond the
memory of mortals: it is likewise said that he was a Phrygian, who lived
in the reign of Midas, and that the shepherds having caught him, by
putting wine into the fountain he used to drink of, brought him to
Midas, who gave him his long ears; a fable intended to intimate that
this extraordinary loan signified the faculty of receiving universal
intelligence. Virgil makes Silēnus deliver a very serious and excellent
discourse concerning the creation of the world, when he was scarcely
recovered from a fit of drunkenness, which renders it probable that the
sort of drunkenness with which Silēnus is charged, had something in it
mysterious, and approaching to inspiration.

He is described as a short, corpulent old man, bald-headed, with a flat
nose, prominent forehead and long ears. He is usually exhibited as
over-laden with wine, and seated on a saddled ass, upon which he
supports himself with a long staff in the one hand, and in the other
carries a _cantharus_ or jug, with the handle almost worn out with
frequent use.

SYLVANUS. The descent of Sylvānus is extremely obscure. Some think him
son of Faunus, some say he was the same with Faunus, whilst others
suppose him the same deity with Pan, which opinion Pliny seems to adopt
when he says that the Ægipans were the same with the Sylvans. He was
unknown to the Greeks; but the Latins received the worship of him from
the Pelasgi, upon their migration into Italy, and his worship seems
wholly to have arisen out of the ancient sacred use of woods and groves,
it being introduced to inculcate a belief that there was no place
without the presence of a deity. The Pelasgi consecrated groves, and
appointed solemn festivals, in honor of Sylvānus. The hog and milk were
the offerings tendered him. A monument consecrated to this deity, by one
Laches, gives him the epithet of Littorālis, whence it would seem that
he was worshipped upon the sea-coasts.

The priests of Sylvānus constituted one of the principal colleges of
Rome, and were in great reputation, a sufficient evidence of the fame of
his worship. Many writers confound the Sylvāni, Fauni, Satyri, and
Silēni, with Pan.

Some monuments represent him as little of stature, with the face of a
man, and the legs and feet of a goat, holding a branch of cypress in his
hand, in token of his regard for Cyparissus, who was transformed into
that tree. The pineapple, a pruning-knife in his hand, a crown coarsely
made, and a dog, are the ordinary attributes of the representations of
this rural deity. He appears sometimes naked, sometimes covered with a
rustic garb which reaches down to his knee.

Sylvānus, as his name imports, presided over woods, and the fruits that
grew in them; agreeable to which, (in some figures) he has a lap full of
fruit, his pruning-hook in one hand, and a young cypress tree in the
other. Virgil mentions the latter as a distinguishing attribute of this
god: the same poet, on another occasion, describes him as crowned with
wild flowers, and mentions his presiding over the cornfields as well as
the woods.

SATYRI, _or_ SATYRS, a sort of demi-gods, who with the Fauns and
Sylvans, presided over groves and forests under the direction of Pan.
They made part of the _dramatis persōnæ_ in the ancient Greek tragedies,
which gave rise to the species of poetry called satirical.

There is a story that Euphēmus, passing from Caria to the extreme parts
of the ocean, discovered many desert islands, and being forced by
tempestuous weather to land upon one of them, called Satyrĭda, he found
inhabitants covered with yellow hair, having tails not much less than
horses. We are likewise told, that in the expedition which Hanno the
Carthaginian made to the parts of Lybia lying beyond Hercules' pillars,
they came to a great bay called the Western Horn, in which was an island
where they could find or see nothing by day-light but woods, and yet in
the night they observed many fires, and heard an incredible and
astonishing noise of drums and trumpets; whence they concluded that a
number of Satyrs abode there.

It is pretended there really were such monsters as the pagans deified
under the name of Satyrs; and one of them, it is said, was brought to
Sylla, having been surprised in his sleep. Sylla ordered him to be
interrogated by people of different countries, to know what language he
spoke; but the Satyr only answered with cries, not unlike those of goats
and the neighing of horses. This monster had a human body, but the
thighs, legs, and feet of a goat. To the above stories may be added that
of the Satyr who passed the Rubicon in presence of Cæsar and his whole

The Satyrs of the ancients were the ministers and attendants of Bacchus.
Their form was not the most inviting; for though their countenances were
human, they had horns on their foreheads, crooked hands, rough and hairy
bodies, feet and legs like a goat's, and tails which resembled those of
horses. The shepherds sacrificed to them the firstlings of their flocks,
but more especially grapes and apples; and they addressed to them songs
in their forests by which they endeavored to conciliate their favor.
When Satyrs arrived at an advanced age they were called Silēni.

FAUNI, _or_ FAUNS, a species of demi-gods, inhabiting the forests,
called also _Sylvāni_. They were sons of Faunus and Fauna, or Fatua,
king and queen of the Latins, and though accounted demi-gods, were
supposed to die after a long life. Arnobius, indeed, has shown that
their father, or chief, lived only one hundred and twenty years. The
Fauns were Roman deities, unknown to the Greeks. The Roman Faunus was
the same with the Greek Pan; and as in the poets we find frequent
mention of _Fauns_, and _Pans_, or _Panes_, in the plural number, most
probable the Fauns were the same with the Pans, and all descended from
one progenitor.

The Romans called them _Fauni_ and _Ficarii_. The denomination _Ficarii_
was not derived from the Latin _ficus_ a _fig_, as some have imagined,
but from _ficus_, _fici_, a sort of fleshy tumor or excrescence growing
on the eyelids and other parts of the body, which the Fauns were
represented as having. They were called Fauni, _a fando_, from
_speaking_, because they were wont to speak and converse with men; an
instance of which is given in the voice that was heard from the wood, in
the battle between the Romans and Etrurians for the restoration of the
Tarquins, and which encouraged the Romans to fight. We are told that the
Fauni were husbandmen, the Satyrs vine-dressers, and the Sylvāni those
who cut down wood in the forests.

They were represented with horns on their heads, pointed ears, and
crowned with branches of the pine, which was a tree sacred to them,
whilst their lower extremities resembled those of a goat.

Horace makes Faunus the guardian and protector of men of wit, and
Virgil, a god of oracles and predictions; but this is, perhaps, founded
on the etymology of his name, for φωνειν in Greek, and _Fari_ in Latin,
of which it has been supposed a derivative, signify to _speak_; and it
was, perhaps, for the same reason, they called his wife _Fauna_, that
is, _Fatidica_, _prophetess_. Faunus is described by Ovid with horns on
his head, and crowned with the pine tree.

PRIAPUS is said, by some, to have been the son of Bacchus and Nais, or
as others will have it, of Chiŏne; but the generality of authors agree,
that he was son of Bacchus and Venus. He was born at Lampsăchus, a city
of Mysia, at the mouth of the Hellespont, but in so deformed a state,
that his mother, through shame, abandoned him. On his growing up to
maturity, the inhabitants of the place banished him their territories,
on account of his vicious habits; but being soon after visited with an
epidemic disease, the Lampsacans consulted the oracle of Dodōna, and
Priāpus was in consequence recalled. Temples were erected to him as the
tutelar deity of vineyards and gardens, to defend them from thieves and
from birds.

He is usually represented naked and obscene, with a stern countenance,
matted hair, crowned with garden herbs, and holding a wooden sword, or
scythe, whilst his body terminates in a shapeless trunk. His figures are
generally erected in gardens and orchards to serve as scarecrows.
Priāpus held a pruning-hook in his hands, when he had hands, for he was
sometimes nothing more than a mere log of wood, as Martial somewhat
humorously calls him. Indeed the Roman poets in general seem to have
looked on him as a ridiculous god, and are all ready enough either to
despise or abuse him.

Trimalchio, in his ridiculous feasts described by Petronius, had a
figure of this god to be held up during his dessert: it was made of
paste, and, as Horace observes on another occasion, that he owed all his
divinity to the carpenter, Petronius seems to hint that he was wholly
obliged for it to the pastry cook in this. Some mythologists make the
birth of Priāpus allude to that radical moisture which supports all
vegetable productions, and which is produced by Bacchus and Venus, that
is, the solar heat, and the fluid whence Venus is said to have sprung.
Some affirm that he was the same with the Baal of the Phœnicians,
mentioned in scripture.

ARISTÆUS, son of Apollo, by the nymph Cyrene, daughter of Hypseus, king
of the Lapĭthæ, was born in Lybia, and in that part of it where the city
Cyrene was built. He received his education from the nymphs, who taught
him to extract oil from olives, and to make honey, cheese, and butter;
all which arts he communicated to mankind. Going to Thebes, he there
married Autonŏe, daughter of Cadmus, and, by her, was father to Actæon,
who was torn in pieces by his own dogs. At length he passed into Thrace,
where Bacchus initiated him into the mysteries of the Orgia, and taught
him many things conducive to the happiness of life. Having dwelt some
time near Mount Hemus, he disappeared, and not only the barbarous people
of that country, but the Greeks likewise decreed him divine honors.

It is remarked by Bayle, that Aristæus found out the solstitial rising
of Sirius, or the dog-star; and he adds, it is certain that this star
had a particular relation to Aristæus; for this reason, when the heats
of the dog-star laid waste the Cyclădes, and occasioned there a
pestilence, Aristæus was entreated to put a stop to it. He went directly
into the isle of Cea, and built an altar to Jupiter, offered sacrifices
to that deity, as well to the malignant star, and established an
anniversary for it. These produced a very good effect, for it was from
thence that the Etesian winds had their origin, which continue forty
days, and temper the heat of the summer. On his death, for the services
he had rendered mankind, he was placed among the stars, and is the
Aquarius of the Zodiac.

TERMINUS was a very ancient deity among the Romans, whose worship was
first instituted by Numa Pompilius, he having erected in his honor on
the Tarpeian hill a temple which was open at the top. This deity was
thought to preside over the stones or land-marks, called Termĭni, which
were so highly venerated, that it was sacrilege to move them, and the
criminal becoming devoted to the gods, it was lawful for any man to kill
him. The Roman Termĭni were square stones or posts, much resembling our
mile-stones, erected to show that no force or violence should be used in
settling mutual boundaries; they were sometimes crowned with a human
head, but had seldom any inscriptions; one, however, is mentioned to
this effect, "Whosoever shall take away this, or shall order it to be
taken away, may he die the last of his family."

VERTUMNUS, the Proteus of the Roman ritual, was the god of tradesmen,
and, from the power he had of assuming any shape, was believed to
preside over the thoughts of mankind. His courtship of Pomōna makes one
of the most elegant and entertaining stories in Ovid. The Romans
esteemed him the god of tradesmen, from the turns and changes which
traffic effects. There was no god had a greater variety of
representations than Vertumnus. He is painted with a garland of flowers
on his head, a pruning hook in one hand, and ripe fruits in the other.
Pomōna has a pruning hook in her right hand, and a branch in her left.
Pliny introduces this goddess personally, even in his prose, to make her
speak in praise of the fruits committed to her care. We learn from Ovid
that this goddess was of that class which they anciently called

Both these deities were unknown to the Greeks, and only honored by the
Romans. Some imagine Vertumnus an emblem of the year, which, though it
assume different dresses according to the different seasons, is at no
time so luxuriant as in autumn, when the harvest is crowned, and the
fruits appear in their full perfection and lustre; but historians say
that Vertumnus was an ancient king of the Tuscans, who first taught his
people the method of planting orchards, gardens, and vineyards, and the
manner of cultivating, pruning, and grafting fruit-trees; whence he is
reported to have married Pomōna. Some think he was called Vertumnus,
from turning the lake Curtus into the Tiber.


_Goddesses of the Woods._

Diana, daughter of Jupiter and Latōna, and sister of Apollo, was born in
the island of Delos. She had a threefold divinity, being styled Diāna on
earth, Luna, or the moon, in heaven, and Hecăte, or Proserpine, in hell.
The poets say she had three heads, one of a horse, another of a woman,
and the third of a dog. Hesiod makes Diāna, Luna, and Hecăte, three
distinguished goddesses.

Of all the various characters of this goddess, there is no one more
known than that of her presiding over woods, and delighting in hunting.
The Diāna Venatrix, or goddess of the chase, is frequently represented
as running on, with her vest flying back with the wind, notwithstanding
its being shortened, and girt about her for expedition. She is tall of
stature, and her face, though so very handsome, is something manly. Her
feet are sometimes bare, and sometimes adorned with a sort of buskin,
which was worn by the huntresses of old. She often has a quiver on her
shoulder, and sometimes holds a javelin, but more usually her bow, in
her right hand. It is thus she makes her appearance in several of her
statues, and it is thus the Roman poets describe her, particularly in
the epithets they give this goddess, in the use of which they are so
happy that they often bring the idea of whole figures of her into your
mind by a single word. The statues of this Diāna were very frequent in
woods: she was represented there in all the different ways they could
think of; sometimes as hunting, sometimes as bathing, and sometimes as
resting herself after her fatigue. The height of Diāna's stature is
frequently marked out in the poets, and that, generally, by comparing
her with her nymphs.

Another great character of Diāna is that under which she is represented
as the intelligence which presides over the planet of the moon; in which
she is depicted in her car as directing that planet. Her figure under
this character is frequently enough to be met with on gems and medals,
which generally exhibit her with a lunar crown, or crescent on her
forehead, and sometimes as drawn by stags, sometimes by does, but, more
commonly than either, by horses. The poets speak of her chariot and her
horses; they agree with the artists in giving her but two, and show,
that the painters of old generally drew them of a perfect white color.

A third remarkable way of representing Diāna was with three bodies; this
is very common among the ancient figures of the goddess, and it is hence
the poets call her the triple, the three-headed, and the three-bodied
Diāna. Her distinguishing name under this triple appearance is Hecăte,
or Trivia; a goddess frequently invoked in enchantments, and fit for
such black operations; for this is the infernal Diana, and as such is
represented with the characteristics of a fury, rather than as one of
the twelve great celestial deities: all her hands hold instruments of
terror, and generally grasp either cords, or swords, or serpents, or

There are various conjectures concerning the name _Hecăte_, which is
supposed to come from a Greek word signifying an _hundred_, either
because an hundred victims at a time used to be offered to her, or else
because by her edicts the ghosts of those who die without burial, wander
an hundred years upon the banks of the Styx. Mythologists say that
Hecăte is the _order_ and _force_ of the Fates, who obtained from the
divine power that influence which they have over human bodies; that the
operation of the Fates are hidden, but descend by the means and
interposition of the stars, wherefore it is necessary that all inferior
things submit to the cares, calamities, and death which the Fates bring
upon them, without any possibility of resisting the divine will.

Hesiod relates of Hecate, to show the extent of her power, that Jupiter
had heaped gifts and honors upon her far above all the other deities;
that she was empress of the earth and sea, and all things which are
comprehended in the compass of the heavens; that she was a goddess easy
to be entreated, kind, and always ready to do good, bountiful of gold
and riches, which are wholly in her power; that whatever springs from
seed, whether in heaven, or on earth, is subject to her, and that she
governs the fates of all things.

PALES was a rural goddess of the Romans. She was properly the divinity
of shepherds, and the tutelar deity and protectress of their flocks. Her
votaries had usually wooden images of her. A feast called Palilia or
Parilia was celebrated on the twenty-first of April, or, according to
some, in May, in the open fields. The offerings were milk and cakes of
millet, in order to engage her to defend their flocks from wild beasts
and infectious diseases. As part of the ceremony, they burned heaps of
straw, and leaped over them. Some make Pales the same with Vesta or
Cybĕle. This goddess is represented as an old woman.

FLORA, the goddess of flowers, was a Roman deity. The ancients made her
the wife of Zephyrus, to intimate that Flora, or the natural heat of the
plant, must concur with the influence of the warmest wind for the
production of flowers. Varro reckons Flora among the ancient deities of
the Sabines, which were received into Rome on the union of the Sabines
with the Romans. Ovid says, that her Greek name was Chloris, and that
the Latins changed it into Flora.

FERONIA was the goddess of woods and orchards. She is called Feronia
from the verb _fero, to bring forth_, because she _produced_ and
_propagated_ trees, or from _Ferōnĭci_, a town situated near the foot of
Mount Soracte, in Italy, where was a wood, and a temple dedicated to
her; which town and wood are mentioned by Virgil, in his catalogue of
the forces of Turnus. The Lacedemonians first introduced her worship
into Italy under Evander; for these people, being offended at the rigor
of the laws of Lycurgus, resolved to seek out some new plantation, and
arriving, after a long and dangerous voyage, in Italy, they, to show
their gratitude for their preservation, built a temple to Feronia, so
called from their _bearing patiently_ all the fatigues and dangers they
had encountered in their voyage. This edifice casually taking fire, the
people ran to remove and preserve the image of the goddess, when on a
sudden the fire became extinguished, and the grove assumed a native and
flourishing verdure.

Horace mentions the homage that was paid to this deity, by washing the
face and hands, according to custom, in the sacred fountain which flowed
near her temple. Slaves received the cap of liberty at her shrine, on
which account they regarded her as their patroness. How Feronia was
descended, where born, or how educated, is not transmitted to us; but
she is said to have been wife to Jupiter Anxur, so called, because he
was worshipped in that place.




    Pope's Homer's Iliad. B. 13. L. 41
    Pl. 7.]

NYMPHÆ, _the_ NYMPHS, were certain inferior goddesses, inhabiting the
mountains, woods, valleys, rivers, seas, &c. said to be daughters of
Oceanus and Tethys. According to ancient mythology, the whole universe
was full of these nymphs, who are distinguished into several ranks and
classes, though the general division of them is into celestial and
terrestrial. I. The Celestial Nymphs, called _Uraniæ_, were supposed to
govern the heavenly bodies or spheres. II. The Terrestrial Nymphs,
called _Epigeiæ_, presided over the several parts of the inferior world;
these were again subdivided into those of the water, and those of the

The Nymphs of the water were ranged under several classes: 1. The
Oceanĭdes, or Nymphs of the ocean. 2. The Nereids, daughters of Nereus
and Doris. 3. The Naiads, Nymphs of the fountains. 4. The Ephydriădes,
also Nymphs of the fountains; and 5. The Limniădes, Nymphs of the lakes.
The Nymphs of the earth were likewise divided into different classes;
as, 1. The Oreădes, or Nymphs of the mountains. 2. The Napææ, Nymphs of
the meadows; and 3. The Dryads and Hamadryads, Nymphs of the woods and
forests. Besides these, there were Nymphs who took their names from
particular countries, rivers, &c. as the Dardanĭdes, Tiberĭdes,
Ismenĭdes, &c.

Pausanias reports it as the opinion of the ancient poets that the Nymphs
were not altogether free from death, or immortal, but that their years
wore in a manner innumerable; that prophecies were inspired by the
Nymphs, as well as the other deities; and that they had foretold the
destruction of several cities: they were likewise esteemed as the
authors of divination.

Meursius is of opinion, that the Greeks borrowed their notion of these
divinities from the Phœnicians, for _nympha_, in their language,
signifying _soul_, the Greeks imagined that the souls of the ancient
inhabitants of Greece had become Nymphs; particularly that the souls of
those who had inhabited the woods were called Dryads; those who
inhabited the mountains, Oreădes; those who dwelt on the sea-coasts,
Nereids; and, lastly, those who had their place of abode near rivers or
fountains, Naiads. Though goats were sometimes sacrificed to the Nymphs,
yet their stated offerings were milk, oil, honey and wine. They were
represented as young and beautiful virgins, and dressed in conformity to
the character ascribed to them.


_Gods of the Sea._

NEPTUNE was the son of Saturn, and Rhea or Ops, and brother of Jupiter.
When arrived at maturity, he assisted his brother Jupiter in his
expeditions, for which that god, on attaining to supreme power, assigned
him the sea and the islands for his empire. Whatever attachment Neptune
might have had to his brother at one period, he was at another expelled
heaven for entering into a conspiracy against him, in conjunction with
several other deities; whence he fled, with Apollo, to Laomedon, king of
Troy, where Neptune having assisted in raising the walls of the city,
and being dismissed unrewarded, in revenge, sent a sea-monster to lay
waste the country.

On another occasion, this deity had a contest with Vulcan and Minerva,
in regard to their skill. The goddess, as a proof of her's, made a
horse, Vulcan a man, and Neptune a bull, whence that animal was used in
the sacrifices to him, though it is probable that, as the victim was to
be black, the design was to point out the raging quality and fury of the
sea, over which he presided. The Greeks make Neptune to have been the
creator of the horse, which he produced from out of the earth with a
blow of his trident, when disputing with Minerva who should give the
name to Cecropia, which was afterwards called Athens, from the name in
Greek of Minerva, who made an olive tree spring up suddenly, and thus
obtained the victory.

In this fable, however, it is evident that the horse could signify
nothing but a ship; for the two things in which that region excelled
being ships and olive-trees, it was thought politic by this means to
bring the citizens over from too great a fondness for sea affairs, to
the cultivation of their country, by showing that Pallas was preferable
to Neptune, or, in other words, _husbandry to sailing_, which, without
some further meaning, the production of a horse could never have done.
It notwithstanding appears that Neptune had brought the management of
the horse, as likewise the art of building ships, to very great
perfection; insomuch that Pamphus, who was the most ancient writer of
hymns to the gods, calls him the benefactor of mankind, in bestowing
upon them horses and ships which had stems and decks that resembled

If Neptune created the horse, he was likewise the inventor of
chariot-races; hence Mithridātes, king of Pontus, threw chariots, drawn
by four horses, into the sea, in honor of Neptune: and the Romans
instituted horse-races in the circus during his festival, at which time
all horses ceased from working, and the mules were adorned with wreaths
of flowers.

Neptune, represented as a god of the sea, makes a considerable figure:
he is described with black or dark hair, his garment of an azure or
sea-green color, seated in a large shell drawn by whales, or sea-horses,
with his trident in his hand, attended by the sea-gods Palæmon, Glaucus,
and Phorcys; the sea-goddesses Thetis, Melita, and Panopēa, and a long
train of Tritons and sea-nymphs.

The inferior artists represent him sometimes with an angry and disturbed
air; and we may observe the same difference in this particular between
the great and inferior poets as there is between the bad and the good
artists. Thus Ovid describes Neptune with a sullen look, whereas Virgil
expressly tells us that he has a mild face, even where he is
representing him in a passion. Even at the time that he is provoked, and
might be expected to have appeared disturbed, and in a passion, there is
serenity and majesty in his face.

On some medals he treads on the beak of a ship, to show that he presided
over the seas, or more particularly over the Mediterranean sea, which
was the great, and almost the only scene for navigation among the old
Greeks and Romans. He is standing, as he generally was represented; he
most commonly, too, has his trident in his right hand: this was his
peculiar sceptre, and seems to have been used by him chiefly to rouse up
the waters; for we find sometimes that he lays it aside when he is to
appease them, but he resumes it when there is occasion for violence.
Virgil makes him shake Troy from its foundation with it; and in Ovid it
is with the stroke of this that the waters of the earth are let loose
for the general deluge. The poets have generally delighted in describing
this god as passing over the calm surface of the waters, in his chariot
drawn by sea-horses. The fine original description of this is in Homer,
from whom Virgil and Statius have copied it.

In searching for the mythological sense of the fable, we must again have
recourse to Egypt, that kingdom which, above all others, has furnished
the most ample harvest for the reaper of mysteries. The Egyptians, to
denote navigation, and the return of the Phœnician fleet, which annually
visited their coast, used the figure of an Osīris borne on a winged
horse, and holding a three-forked spear, or harpoon. To this image they
gave the name of Poseidon, or Neptune, which, as the Greeks and Romans
afterwards adopted, sufficiently proves this deity had his birth here.
Thus the maritime Osīris of the Egyptians became a new deity with those
who knew not the meaning of the symbol.

TRITON. It is not agreed who were the parents of Triton; but he was a
sea-deity, the herald and trumpeter of Oceănus and Neptune. He sometimes
delighted in mischief, for he carried off the cattle from the Tanagrian
fields, and destroyed the smaller coasting vessels; so that to appease
his resentment, the Tanagrians offered him libations of new wine.
Pleased with its flavor and taste, he drank so freely that he fell
asleep, and tumbling from an eminence, one of the natives cut of his
head. He left a daughter called Tristia.

The poets ordinarily attribute to Triton, the office of calming the sea,
and stilling of tempests: thus in the Metamorphoses we read, that
Neptune desiring to recall the waters of the deluge, commanded Triton to
sound his trumpet, at the noise of which they retired to their
respective channels, and left the earth again habitable, having swept
off almost the whole human race.

This god is exhibited in the human form from the waist upwards, with
blue eyes, a large mouth, and hair matted like wild parsley; his
shoulders covered with a purple skin, variegated with small scales, his
feet resembling the fore feet of a horse, and his lower parts
terminating in a double forked tail: sometimes he is seen in a car, with
horses of a bright cerulean. His trumpet is a large conch, or sea-shell.
There were several Tritons, but one chief over all, the distinguished
messenger of Neptune, as Mercury was of Jupiter, and Iris of Juno.

OCEANUS, oldest son of Cœlus and Terra, or Vesta. He married Tethys, and
besides her had many other wives. He had several sisters, all Nymphs,
each of whom possessed an hundred woods and as many rivers. Oceănus was
esteemed by the ancients as the father both of gods and men, who were
said to have taken their beginning from him, on account of the ocean's
encompassing the earth with its waves, and because he was the principal
of that radical moisture diffused through universal matter, without
which, according to Thales, nothing could either be produced or subsist.

Homer makes Juno visit Oceănus at the remotest limits of the earth, and
acknowledge him and Tethys as the parents of the gods, adding, that she
herself had been brought up under their tuition. Many of his children
are mentioned in poetical story, whose names it would be endless to
enumerate, and, indeed, they are only the appellations of the principal
rivers of the world. Oceănus was described with a bull's head, to
represent the rage and bellowing of the ocean when agitated by storms.
Oceănus and Tethys are ranked in the highest classes of sea-deities, and
as governors in chief over the whole world of waters.

NEREUS, a sea-deity, was son of Oceănus, by Tethys. Apollodōrus gives
him Terra for his mother. His education and authority were in the
waters, and his residence, more particularly, the Ægean seas. He had the
faculty of assuming what form he pleased. He was regarded as a prophet;
and foretold to Paris the war which the rape of Helen would bring upon
his country. When Hercules was ordered to fetch the golden apples of the
Hesperĭdes, he went to the Nymphs inhabiting the grottoes of Eridănus,
to know where he might find them; the Nymphs sent him to Nereus, who, to
elude the inquiry, perpetually varied his form, till Hercules having
seized him, resolved to hold him till he resumed his original shape, on
which he yielded the desired information. Nereus had, by his sister
Doris, fifty daughters called Nereids. Hesiod highly celebrates him as a
mild and peaceful old man, a lover of justice and moderation. Nereus and
Doris, with their descendants the Nereids, or Oceaniads, so called from
Oceănus, are ranked in the third class of water deities.

PALÆMON, _or_ MELICERTES, was son of Athămas, king of Thebes and Ino.
The latter fearing the rage of her husband, who in his madness had
killed his son Learchus, took Melicertes in her arms, and leaped with
him from the rock Molyris into the sea. Neptune received them with open
arms, and gave them a place among the marine gods, only changing their
names, Ino being called Leucothea, or Leucothŏe, and Melicertes,
Palæmon. Ino, under the name Leucothea, is supposed, by some, to be the
same with Aurora: the Romans gave her the name of Matuta, she being
reputed the goddess that ushers in the morning; and Palæmon, they called
Portumnus, or Portunnus, and painted him with a key in his hand, to
denote that he was the guardian of harbors. Adorations were paid to him
chiefly at Tenĕdos, and the sacrifice offered to him was an infant.

Pausanias says that the body of Melicertes was thrown on the Isthmus of
Corinth where Sisyphus, his uncle, who reigned in that city, instituted
the Isthmian games in his honor. For this fable we are indebted to the
fertile invention of the Greeks, Melicertes being no other than the
Melcarthus or the Hercules of Tyre, who, from having been drowned in the
sea, was called a god of it, and from his many voyages, the guardian of

GLAUCUS, a sea-deity. His story, which is very fanciful, shows the
extravagance of poetical fiction amongst the ancients. Before his
deification, Glaucus is said to have been a fisherman of Anthēdon, who
having one day remarked that the fishes which he laid on a particular
herb revived and threw themselves into the sea, resolved himself to
taste it, and immediately followed their example: the consequence was,
that he became a Triton, and ever after was reputed a marine deity,
attending with the rest on the car of Neptune.

The descent of this deity is exceeding dubious. He is said to have
carried off Ariadne from the island Dia, for which Bacchus bound him
fast with vine-twigs. The ship Argo is said to have been constructed by
him, and he is not only mentioned as commanding her, when Jason fought
with the Tyrrhenians, but as being the only one of her crew that came
off without a wound. He dwelt some time at Delos, and, besides
prophesying with the Nereids, is affirmed to have instructed Apollo in
the art.

SCYLLA was the daughter of Phorcus, or Phorcys, by Ceto. Glaucus, being
passionately fond of Scylla, after vainly endeavoring to gain her
affections, applied to Circe, and besought her, by her art, to induce
her to return his affection. On this, Circe disclosed to him her
passion, but Glaucus remaining inexorable, the enchantress vowed
revenge, and by her magic charms so infected the fountain in which
Scylla bathed, that on entering it, her lower parts were turned into
dogs; at which the nymph, terrified at herself, plunged into the sea,
and there was changed to a rock, notorious for the shipwrecks it

Authors are disagreed as to Scylla's form; some say she retained her
beauty from the neck downwards, but had six dog's heads: others
maintain, that her upper parts continued entire, but that she had below
the body of a wolf, and the tail of a serpent. The rock named Scylla,
lies between Italy and Sicily, and the noise of the waves beating on it
is supposed to have occasioned the fable of the barking of dogs, and
howling of wolves, ascribed to the imaginary monster.

CHARYBDIS was a rapacious woman, a female robber, who, it is said, stole
the oxen of Hercules, for which she was thunder-struck by Jupiter, and
turned into a whirlpool, dangerous to sailors. This whirlpool was
situated opposite the rock Scylla, at the entrance of the Faro from
Messina, and occasioned the proverb of running into one danger to avoid
another. Some affirm that Hercules killed her himself; others, that
Scylla committed this robbery, and was killed for it by Hercules.


_Tartarus and its Deities._

TARTARUS _or_ HELL, the region of punishment after death. The whole
imaginary world, which we call Hell, though according to the ancients it
was the receptacle of all departed persons, of the good as well as the
bad, is divided by Virgil into five parts: the first may be called the
previous region; the second is the region of waters, or the river which
they were all to pass; the third is what we may call the gloomy region,
and what the ancients called Erĕbus; the fourth is Tartărus, or the
region of torments; and the fifth the region of joy and bliss, or what
we still call Elysium.

The first part in it Virgil has stocked with two sorts of beings; first,
with those which make the real misery of mankind upon earth, such as
war, discord, labor, grief, cares, distempers, and old age; and,
secondly, with fancied terrors, and all the most frightful creatures of
our own imagination, such as Gorgons, Harpies, Chimæras and the like.

The next is the water which all the departed were supposed to pass, to
enter into the other world; this was called Styx, or the hateful
passage: the imaginary personages of this division are the souls of the
departed, who are either passing over, or suing for a passage, and the
master of a vessel who carries them over, one freight after another,
according to his will and pleasure.

The third division begins immediately with the bank on the other side
the river, and was supposed to extend a great way in: it is subdivided
again into several particular districts; the first seems to be the
receptacle for infants. The next for all such as have been put to death
without a cause; next is the place for those who have put a period to
their own lives, a melancholy region, and situated amidst the marshes
made by the overflowings of the Styx, or hateful river, or passage into
the other world: after this are the fields of mourning, full of dark
woods and groves, and inhabited by those who died of love: last of all
spreads an open champaign country, allotted for the souls of departed
warriors; the name of this whole division is Erĕbus: its several
districts seem to be disposed all in a line, one after the other, but
after this the great line or road divides into two, of which the right
hand road leads to Elysium, or the place of the blessed, and the left
hand road to Tartărus, or the place of the tormented.

The fourth general division of the subterraneous world is this Tartărus,
or the place of torments: there was a city in it, and a prince to
preside over it: within this city was a vast deep pit, in which the
tortures were supposed to be performed: in this horrid part Virgil
places two sorts of souls; first, of such as have shown their impiety
and rebellion toward the gods; and secondly, of such as have been vile
and mischievous among men: those, as he himself says of the latter more
particularly, who hated their brethren, used their parents ill, or
cheated their dependants, who made no use of their riches, who committed
incest, or disturbed the marriage union of others, those who were
rebellious subjects, or knavish servants, who were despisers of justice,
or betrayers of their country, and who made and unmade laws not for the
good of the public, but only to get money for themselves; all these, and
the despisers of the gods, Virgil places in this most horrid division of
his subterraneous world, and in the vast abyss, which was the most
terrible part even of that division.

The fifth division is that of Elysium, or the place of the blessed; here
Virgil places those who died for their country, those of pure lives,
truly inspired poets, the inventors of arts, and all who have done good
to mankind: he does not speak of any particular districts for these, but
supposes that they have the liberty of going where they please in that
delightful region, and conversing with whom they please; he only
mentions one vale, towards the end of it, as appropriated to any
particular use; this is the vale of Lethe or forgetfulness, where many
of the ancient philosophers, and the Platonists in particular, supposed
the souls which had passed through some periods of their trial, were
immersed in the river which gave its name to it, in order to be put into
new bodies, and to fill up the whole course of their probation, in an
upper world.

In each of these three divisions, on the other side of the river Styx,
which perhaps were comprehended under the name of Ades, as all the five
might be under that of Orcus, was a prince or judge: Minos for the
regions of Erĕbus; Rhadamanthus for Tartărus; and Æăcus for Elysium,
Pluto and Proserpine had their palace at the entrance of the road to the
Elysian fields, and presided as sovereigns over the whole subterraneous

PLUTO, son of Saturn and Ops, assisted Jupiter in his wars, and after
victory had crowned their exertions in placing his brother on the
throne, be obtained a share of his father's dominions, which, as some
authors say, was the eastern continent, and lower regions of Asia; but,
according to the common opinion, Pluto's division lay in the west. He
fixed his residence in Spain, and lived in Iberia, near the Pyrrenæan
mountains: Spain being a fertile country, and abounding in minerals and
mines, Pluto was esteemed the god of wealth; for it must be here
observed, that the poets confound Pluto, god of hell, with Plutus, god
of riches, though they were distinct deities, and always so considered
by the ancients.

Pluto's regions being supposed to lie under ground; and as he was the
first who taught men to bury their dead, it was thence inferred that he
was king of the infernal regions, whence sprung a belief, that as all
souls descended to him, so when they were in his possession, he bound
them with inevitable chains, and delivered them to be tried by judges,
after which he dispensed rewards and punishments according to their
several deserts. Pluto was therefore called the infernal Jupiter, and
oblations were made to him by the living, for the souls of their friends

Although Pluto was brother of Jupiter, yet none of the goddesses would
condescend to marry him, owing to the deformity of his person, joined to
the darkness of his mansions. Enraged at this reluctance in the
goddesses, and mortified at his want of issue, Pluto ascended his
chariot, and drove to Sicily, where chancing to discover Proserpine with
her companions gathering flowers in a valley of Enna, near mount Ætna,
the grisly god, struck with her charms, instantly seized her, and
forcing her into his chariot, went rapidly off to the river Chemarus,
through which he opened himself a passage to the realms of night.
Orpheus says, this descent was made through the Cecropian cave in
Attica, not far from Eleusis.

His whole domains are washed with vast and rapid rivers, whose peculiar
qualities strike horror into mortals. Cocytus falls with an impetuous
roaring; Phlegĕthon rages with a torrent of flames; the Acharusian fen
is dreadful for its stench and filth: nor does Charon, the ferryman, who
wafts souls over, occasion any less horror; Cerbĕrus, the triple-headed
dog, stands ready with open mouths to receive them; and the Furies shake
at them their serpentine locks.

Thus far the common fable; but the following seems the true foundation
of the story which has been so much disguised; Pluto having retired into
Spain, applied himself to the working of the mines of silver and gold,
which in that country, were very common, especially on the side of
Cadiz, where he fixed his abode. Bœtica, his residence, was that
province now called Andalusia, and the river Bœtis, now Guadalquiver,
gave that name to it. This river formed of old, at its mouth, a small
island, called Tartessus, which was the Tartessus of the ancients, and
whence Tărtarus was formed.

It may be remarked, that though Spain be not now fertile in mines, yet
the ancients speak of it as a country where they abounded. Posidonius
says, that its mountains and hills were almost all mountains of gold;
Arienus, that near Tartessus was a mountain of silver; and Aristotle,
that the first Phœnicians who landed there, found such quantities of
gold and of silver, that they made anchors for their ships of those
precious metals. This, doubtless, is what determined Pluto, who was
ingenius in such operations, to fix himself near to Tartessus; and this
making him pass also for a wealthy prince, procured for him the name of
Pluto, instead of that of Agelestus.

The situation of Pluto's kingdom, which was low in respect to Greece,
occasioned him to be looked on as the god of hell; and as he continually
employed laborers for his mines, who chiefly resided in the bowels of
the earth, and there commonly died, Pluto was reputed the king of the
dead. The ocean, likewise, upon whose coasts he reigned, was supposed to
be covered with darkness. These circumstances united, appear to have
been the foundation of the fables afterwards invented concerning Pluto
and his realms of night. It is probable, for example, that the famous
Tartărus, the place so noted in the empire of this god, comes from
Tartessus, near Cadiz: the river Lethe not unlikely from the
Guada-Lethe, which flows over against that city; and the lake Avernus,
or the Acheronian fen, from the word Aharona, importing, _at the
extremities_, a name given to that lake, which is near the ocean.

Pluto was extremely revered both by the Greeks and Romans. He had a
magnificent temple at Pylos. Near the river Corellus, in Bœotia, he had
also an altar, for some mystical reason, in common with Pallas. His
chief festival was in February, and called Charistia, because their
oblations were made for the dead. Black bulls were the victims offered
up, and the ceremonies were performed in the night, it not being lawful
to sacrifice to him in the day time, on account of his aversion to the
light. The cypress tree was sacred to Pluto, boughs of which were
carried at funerals.

He is usually represented in an ebony chariot, drawn by his four black
horses, Orphnæus, Æthon, Nycteus, and Alastor. As god of the dead, keys
were the ensigns of his authority, because there is no possibility of
returning when the gates of his palace are locked. Sometimes he holds a
sceptre, to denote his power; at other times a wand, with which he
directs the movements of his subject ghosts. Homer speaks of his hemlet
as having the quality of rendering the wearer invisible; and tells us
that Minerva borrowed it when she fought against the Trojans, that she
might not be discovered by Mars. Perseus also used this hemlet when he
cut off Medusa's head.

Mythologists pretend that Pluto is the earth, the natural powers and
faculties of which are under his direction, so that he is monarch not
only of all riches which come from thence, and are at length swallowed
up by it, but likewise of the dead; for as all living things spring from
the earth, so are they resolved into the principles whence they arose.
Proserpine is by them reputed to be the seed or grain of fruits or corn,
which must be taken into the earth, and hid there before it can be
nourished by it.

PLUTUS, the god of riches. Though Plutus be not an infernal god, yet as
his name and office were similar to Pluto's, we shall here distinguish
them, although both were gods of riches. Pluto was born of Saturn and
Ops, or Rhea, and was brother of Jupiter and Neptune; but Plutus, the
god of whom we here speak, was son of Jason or Jasion by Ceres. He is
represented blind and lame, injudicious and fearful. Being lame, he
confers estates but slowly: for want of judgment, his favors are
commonly bestowed on the unworthy; and as he is timorous, so he obliges
rich men to watch their treasures with fear. Plutus is painted with
wings, to signify the swiftness of his retreat, when he takes his
departure. Little more of him remains in story, than that he had a
daughter named Euribœa; unless the comedy of Aristophănes, called by his
name, be taken into the account.

Aristophănes says that this deity, having at first a very clear sight,
bestowed his favors only on the just and good: but that after Jupiter
deprived him of vision, riches fell indifferently to the good and the
bad. A design being formed for the recovery of his sight, Penia or
poverty opposed it, making it appear that poverty is the mistress of
arts, sciences, and virtues, which would be in danger of perishing if
all men were rich; but no credit being given to her remonstrance, Plutus
recovered his sight in the temple of Æsculapius, whence the temples and
altars of other gods, and those of Jupiter himself, were abandoned, the
whole world sacrificing to Plutus alone.

PROSERPINE, the daughter of Jupiter and Ceres, was educated with Minerva
and Diāna. By reason of this familiar intercourse, each chose a place in
the island of Sicily for her particular residence. Minerva look the
parts near Himĕra; Diāna those about Syracuse; and Proserpine, in common
with her sister goddesses, enjoyed the pleasant fields of Enna. Near at
hand are groves and gardens, surrounded with morasses and a deep cave,
with a passage under ground, opening towards the north. In this happy
retirement was Proserpine situated, when Pluto, passing in his chariot
through the cave, discovered her whilst busy in gathering flowers, with
her attendants, the daughters of Oceănus. Proserpine he seized, and
having placed her in his chariot, carried her to Syracuse, where the
earth opening, they both descended to the infernal regions.

She had not been long there when the fame of her charms induced Theseus
and Pirithŏus to combine for the purpose of carrying her thence; but in
this they failed. When Ceres, who was disconsolate for the loss of her
daughter, discovered where she was, Jupiter upon her repeated
solicitations, promised that Proserpine should be restored, provided she
had not yet tasted any thing in hell. Ceres joyfully descended, and
Proserpine, full of triumph, prepared for her return, when lo!
Ascalăphus, son of Achēron and Gorgyra, discovered that he saw
Proserpine, as she walked in the garden of Pluto, eat some grains of a
pomegranate, upon which her departure was stopped. At last, by the
repeated importunity of her mother to Jupiter, she extorted as a favor,
in mitigation of her grief, that Proserpine should live half the year in
heaven, and the other half in hell.

Proserpine is represented under the form of a beautiful woman,
enthroned, having something stern and melancholy in her aspect. Statius
has found out a melancholy employment for her, which is, to keep a sort
of register of the dead, and to mark down all that should be added to
that number. The same poet mentions another of her offices of a more
agreeable nature: he says, when any woman dies who had been a remarkably
good wife in this world, Proserpine prepares the spirits of the best
women in the other to make a procession to welcome her into Elysium with
joy, and to strew all the way with flowers where she is to pass.

Some represent Proserpine, Luna, Hecăte, and Diāna, as one; the same
goddess being called Luna in heaven, Diāna on earth, and Hecăte in hell:
and they explain the fable of the moon, which is hidden from us in the
hemisphere of the countries beneath, just so long as it shines in our
own. As Proserpine was to stay six months with her mother, and six with
her husband, she was the emblem of the seed corn, which lies in the
earth during the winter, but in spring sprouts forth, and in summer
bears fruit.

The mythological sense of the fable is this: the name of Proserpine, or
Persephŏne, among the Egyptians, was used to denote the change produced
in the earth by the deluge, which destroyed its former fertility, and
rendered tillage and agriculture necessary to mankind.

PARCÆ, _or_ FATES, were goddesses supposed to preside over the accidents
and events, and to determine the date or period of human life. They were
reckoned by the ancients to be three in number, because all things have
a beginning, progress, and end. They were the daughters of Jupiter and
Themis, and sisters to the Horæ, or Hours.

Their names, amongst the Greeks, were Atrŏpos, Clotho, and Lachĕsis, and
among the Latins, Nona, Decĭma, Morta. They are called Parcæ, because,
as Varro thinks, they distributed to mankind good and bad things at
their birth; or, as the common and received opinion is, because they
spare nobody. They were always of the same mind, so that though
dissensions sometimes arose among the other gods, no difference was ever
known to subsist among these three sisters, whose decrees were
immutable. To them was intrusted the spinning and management of the
thread of life; Clotho held the distaff, Lachĕsis turned the wheel, and
Atrŏpos cut the thread.

Plutarch tells us they represented the three parts of the world, viz.
the firmament of the fixed stars, the firmament of the planets, and the
space of air between the moon and the earth; Plato says they represented
time past, present, and to come. There were no divinities in the pagan
world who had a more absolute power than the Fates. They were looked
upon as the dispensers of the eternal decrees of Jupiter, and were all
of them sometimes supposed to spin the party-colored thread of each
man's life. Thus are they represented on a medal, each with a distaff in
her hand. The fullest and best description of them in any of the poets,
is in Catullus: he represents them as all spinning, and at the same time
singing, and foretelling the birth and fortunes of Achilles, at Peleus'

An ingenious writer, in giving the true mythology of these characters,
apprehends them to have been, originally, nothing more than the mystical
figure or symbols which represented the months of January, February, and
March, among the Egyptians, who depicted them in female dresses, with
the instruments of spinning and weaving, which was the great business
carried on in that season. These images they called _Parc_, which
signifies _linen cloth_, to denote the manufacture produced by this
temporary industry. The Greeks, ever fertile in invention, and knowing
nothing of the true sense of these allegorical figures, gave them a turn
suitable to their genius.

FURIES, EUMENIDES _or_ DIRÆ, were the daughters of Nox and Achĕron.
Their names were Alecto, Megæra, and Tisiphŏne. As many crimes were
committed in secret, which could not be discovered from a deficiency of
proof, it was necessary for the judges to have such officers as by
wonderful and various tortures should force from the criminals a
confession of their guilt. To this end the Furies, being messengers both
of the celestial and terrestrial Jupiter, were always attendant on their

In heaven they were called Diræ, (_quasi Deorum iræ_) or ministers of
divine vengeance, in punishing the guilty after death; on earth
_Furies_, from that madness which attends the consciousness of guilt;
_Erynnis_, from the indignation and perturbations they raise in the
mind; _Eumenĭdes_, from their placability to such as supplicate them, as
in the instance of Orestes, and Argos, upon his following the advice of
Pallas, and in hell, _Stygian dogs_.

The furies were so dreaded that few dared so much as to name them. They
were supposed to be constantly hovering about those who had been guilty
of any enormous crime. Thus Orestes, having murdered his mother
Clytemnestra, was haunted by the Furies. Œdipus, indeed, when blind and
raving, went into their grove, to the astonishment of all the Athenians,
who durst not so much as behold it. The Furies were reputed so
inexorable, that if any person polluted with murder, incest, or any
flagrant impiety, entered the temple which Orestes had dedicated to them
in Cyrenæ, a town of Arcadia, he immediately became mad, and was hurried
from place to place, with the most restless and dreadful tortures.

Mythologists have assigned to each of these tormentresses their proper
department. Tisiphŏne is said to punish the sins arising from hatred and
anger; Megæra those occasioned by envy; and Alecto the crimes of
ambition and lust. The statues of the Furies had nothing in them
originally different from the other divinities. It was the poet Æschylus
who, in one of his tragedies, represented them in that hideous manner
which proved fatal to many of the spectators. The description of these
deities by the poet passed from the theatre to the temple: from that
time they were exhibited as objects of the utmost horror, with Terror,
Rage, Paleness, and Death, for their attendants; and thus seated about
Pluto's throne, whose ministers they were, they awaited his orders with
an impatience congenial to their natures.

The Furies are described with snakes instead of hair, and eyes inflamed
with madness, brandishing in one hand whips and iron chains, and in the
other torches, with a smothering flame. Their robes are black, and their
feet of brass, to show that their pursuit, though slow, is steady and
certain. As they attended at the thrones of the Stygian and celestial
Jupiter, they had wings to accelerate their progress through the air,
when bearing the commands of the gods: they struck terror into mortals,
either by war, famine, pestilence, or the numberless calamities incident
to human life.

NOX, _or_ NIGHT, the oldest of the deities, was held in great esteem
among the ancients. She was even reckoned older than Chaos. Orpheus
ascribes to her the generation of gods and men, and says, that all
things had their beginning from her. Pausanias has left us a description
of a remarkable statue of this goddess. "We see," says he, "a woman
holding in her right hand a white child sleeping, and in her left a
black child likewise asleep, with both its legs distorted; the
inscription tells us what they are, though we might easily guess without
it: the two children are Death and Sleep, and the woman is Night, the
nurse of them both."

The poets fancied her to be drawn in a chariot with two horses, before
which several stars went as harbingers; that she was crowned with
poppies, and her garments were black, with a black veil over her
countenance, and that stars followed in the same manner as they preceded
her; that upon the departure of the day she arose from the ocean, or
rather from Erĕbus, and encompassed the earth with her sable wings. The
sacrifice offered to Night was a cock because of its enmity to darkness,
and rejoicing at the light.

SOMNUS, _or_ SLEEP, one of the blessings to which the pagans erected
altars, was said to be son of Erĕbus and, Night, and brother of Death.
Orpheus calls Somnus the happy king of gods and men; and Ovid, who gives
a very beautiful description of his abode, represents him dwelling in a
deep cave in the country of the Cimmerians. Into this cavern the sun
never enters, and a perpetual stillness reigns, no noise being heard but
the soft murmur caused by a stream of the river Lethe, which creeps over
the pebbles, and invites to slumber; at its entrance grow poppies, and
other soporiferous herbs. The drowsy god lies reclined on a bed stuffed
with black plumes, the bedstead is of ebony, the covering is also black,
and his head is surrounded by fantastic visions.

We learn from Statius, that the attendants and guards before the gates
of this palace were Rest, Ease, Indolence, Silence, and Oblivion; as the
ministers or attendants within are a vast multitude of Dreams in
different shapes and attitudes. Ovid teaches us who were the supposed
governors over these, and what their particular districts or offices
were. The three chiefs of all are Morpheus, Phobētor, and Phantăsos, who
inspire dreams into great persons only: Morpheus inspires such dreams as
relate to men, Phobētor such as relate to other animals, and Phantăsos
such as relate to inanimate things. They have each their particular
legions under them, to inspire the common people with the sort of dreams
which belong to their province.

MINOS was son of Jupiter and Eurōpa, and brother of Rhadamanthus and
Sarpēdon. After the death of his father, the Cretans, who thought him
illegitimate, would not admit him as a successor to the kingdom, till he
persuaded them it was the divine pleasure he should reign, by praying
Neptune to give him a sign, which being granted, the god caused a horse
to rise out of the sea, upon which he ascended the throne.

Nothing so much distinguished him as the laws he enacted for the
Cretans, which obtained him the name of one of the greatest legislators
of antiquity. To confer the more authority on these laws, Minos retired
to a cave of Mount Ida, where he feigned that Jupiter, his father,
dictated them to him; and every time he returned thence a new injunction
was promulgated by him. Homer calls him Jupiter's disciple; and Horace
says he was admitted to the secrets of that god. Strabo and Ephŏrus
contend, that Minos dwelt nine years in retirement in this cave, and
that it was afterwards called the cave of Jupiter.

Antiquity entertained the highest esteem for the institutes of Minos:
and the testimonies of ancient authors on this head are endless. It
will, therefore, suffice to observe that Lycurgus travelled to Crete on
purpose to collect the laws of Minos for the benefit of the
Lacedemonians; and that Josephus, partial as he was to his own nation,
has owned, that Minos was the only one among the ancients who deserved
to be compared to Moses. He was reputed the judge of the supreme court
of Pluto, Æăcus judged the Europeans; the Asiatics and Africans fell to
the lot of Rhadamanthus; and Minos, as president of the infernal court,
decided the differences which arose between these two judges. He sat on
a throne by himself, and wielded a golden sceptre.

RHADAMANTHUS was the son of Jupiter and Eurōpa, and brother of Minos. He
was one of the three judges of hell. It is said that Rhadamanthus,
having killed his brother, fled to Œchalia in Bœotia, where he married
Alcmēna, widow of Amphitryon. Some make Rhadamanthus a king of Lycia,
who on account of his severity and strict regard to justice, was said to
have been one of the three judges of hell, where his province was to
judge such as died impenitent. It is agreed, that he was the most
temperate man of his time, and was exalted amongst the law-givers of
Crete, who were renowned as good and just men. The division assigned to
Rhadamanthus in the infernal regions was Tartărus.

ÆACUS, son of Jupiter and Ægīna, was king of Œnopia, which, from his
mother's name, he called Ægīna. The inhabitants of that country being
destroyed by a plague, Æăcus prayed to his father that by some means he
would repair the loss of his subjects, upon which Jupiter, in compassion
changed all the ants within a hollow tree into men and women, who, from
a Greek word signifying _ants_, were called _Myrmidons_, and actually
were so industrious a people as to become famous for their ships and

The meaning of which fable is this: The pirates having destroyed the
inhabitants of the island, excepting a few, who hid themselves in caves
and holes for fear of a like fate, Æăcus drew them out of their retreats
and encouraged them to build houses, and sow corn; taught them military
discipline, and how to fit out and navigate fleets, and to appear not
like ants in holes, but on the theatre of the world, like men. His
character for justice was such, that in a time of universal drought he
was nominated by the Delphic oracle to intercede for Greece, and his
prayers were heard. The pagan world also believed that Æăcus, on account
of his impartial justice, was chosen by Pluto, with Minos and
Rhadamanthus, one of the three judges of the dead, and that it was his
province to judge the Europeans, in which capacity he held a plain rod
as a badge of his office.


_The condemned in Hell._

TYPHŒUS, a giant of enormous size, was, according to Hesiod, son of
Erĕbus, or Tartărus and Terra. His stature was prodigious. With one hand
he touched the east, and with the other the west, while his head reached
to the stars. Hesiod has given him an hundred heads of dragons, uttering
dreadful sounds, and eyes which darted fire; flame proceeded from his
mouths and nostrils, his body was encircled with serpents, and his
thighs and legs were of a serpentine form. When he had almost
discomfited the gods, who fled from him into Egypt, Jupiter alone stood
his ground, and pursued the monster to Mount Caucăsus in Syria, where he
wounded him with his thunder; But Typhœus, turning upon him, took the
god prisoner, and after having cut, with his own sickle, the muscles of
his hands and feet, threw him on his shoulders, carried him into
Cilicia, and there imprisoned him in a cave, whence he was delivered by
Mercury, who restored him to his former vigor. Typhœus afterwards fled
into Sicily, where the god overwhelmed him with the enormous mass of
mount Ætna.

Historians report, that Typhœus was brother of Osīris, king of Egypt,
who in the absence of that monarch, formed a conspiracy to dethrone him;
and that having accordingly put Osīris to death, Isis, in revenge of her
husband, raised an army, the command of which she gave to Orus her son,
who vanquished and slew the usurper: hence the Egyptians, in abhorrence
of his memory, painted him under their hieroglyphic characters in so
frightful a manner. The length of his arms signified his power, the
serpents about him denoted his address and cunning, the scales which
covered his body, expressed his cruelty and dissimulation, and the
flight of the gods into Egypt showed the precautions taken by the great
to screen themselves from his fury and resentment. Mythologists take
Typhœus and the other giants, to have been the winds; especially the
subterraneous, which cause earthquakes to break forth with fire,
occasioned by the sulphur enkindled in the caverns under Campania,
Sicily, and the Æolian islands.

TITYOS, _or_ TITYUS, was son of Jupiter and Elara. He resided in
Panopea, where he became formidable for rapine and cruelty, till Apollo
killed him for offering violence to his mother Latona. After this he was
thrown into Tartărus, and chained down on his back, his body taking up
such a compass as to cover nine acres. In this posture two vultures
continually preyed upon his liver, which constantly grew with the
increase of the moon, that there might never be wanting matter for
eternal punishment.

PHLEGYAS, son of Mars and Chryse, daughter of Halmus, was king of
Lapithæ, a people of Thessaly. Apollo having seduced his daughter
Coronis, Phlegyas, in revenge, set fire to the temple of that god at
Delphi, for which sacrilege the deity killed him with his arrows, and
then cast him into Tartărus; where he was sentenced to sit under a huge
rock, which threatened him with perpetual destruction.

IXION was son of Phlegyas, king of the Lapithæ in Thessaly. He married
Dia, daughter of Deioneus, whose consent he obtained by magnificent
promises, but, failing afterwards to perform them, Deioneus seized on
his horses. Ixion dissembled his resentment, and inviting Deioneus to a
banquet, received him in an apartment previously prepared, from which,
by withdrawing a door, his father-in-law was thrown into a furnace of
fire. Stung, however, with remorse, and universally despised, Ixion was
overpowered with frenzy, till Jupiter at length re-admitted him to
favor, and not only took him into heaven, but intrusted him also with
his counsels. So ungrateful, notwithstanding, did Ixion become, as to
attempt the chastity of Juno herself. This so incensed Jupiter that the
angry deity hurled him into Tartărus, and fixed him on a wheel
encompassed with serpents, which was doomed to revolve without

SALMONEUS, king of Elis, was son of Æolus, (not he who was king of the
winds, but another of the name) and Anarete. Not satisfied with an
earthly crown, Salmoneus panted after divine honors; and, in order that
the people might esteem him a god, he built a brazen bridge over the
city, and drove his chariot along it, imitating, by this noise,
Jupiter's thunder; at the same time throwing flaming torches among the
spectators below, to represent his lightning, by which many were killed.
Jupiter, in resentment of this insolence, precipitated the ambitious
mortal into hell, where, according to Virgil, Æneas saw him.

SISIPHUS, _or_ SISYPHUS, a descendant of Æŏlus, married Merope, one of
the Pleiades, who bore him Glaucus. He resided at Ephyra, in
Peloponnesus, and was conspicuous for his craft. Some say he was a
Trojan secretary, who was punished for discovering secrets of state;
whilst others contend that he was a notorious robber killed by Theseus.
However, all the poets agree that he was punished in Tartărus for his
crimes, by rolling a great stone to the top of a hill, which constantly
recoiling and rolling down again, incessantly renewed his fatigue, and
rendered his labor endless.

Ovid, in one passage, seems to describe Sisyphus as bending under the
weight of a vast stone; "but the more common way of speaking of his
punishment," says the author of Polymetis, "agrees with the fine
description of him in Homer, where we see him laboring to heave the
stone that lies on his shoulders up against the side of a steep
mountain, and which always rolls precipitately down again before he can
get it to rest upon the top. Lucretius makes him only an emblem of the
ambitious; as Horace too seems to make Tantălus only an emblem of the

BELIDES, _or_ DANAIDES: They were the fifty daughters of Danăus, son of
Belus, surnamed the _ancient_. Some quarrel having arisen between him
and Egyptus his brother, it determined Danăus on his voyage into Greece;
but Egyptus having fifty sons, proposed a reconciliation, by marrying
them to his brother's daughters. The proposal was agreed to, and the
nuptials were to be celebrated with singular splendor, when Danăus,
either in resentment of former injuries, or being told by the oracle
that one of his sons-in-law should destroy him, gave to each of his
daughters a dagger, with an injunction to stab her husband. They all
executed the order but Hypermnestra, the eldest, who spared the life of
Lyncæus. These Belĭdes, for their cruelty, were consigned to the
infernal regions, there to draw water in sieves from a well, till they
had filled, by that means, a vessel full of holes.

TANTALUS, king of Phrygia, was the son of Jupiter and Plota. Whether it
was for this cause, the violation of hospitality, or for his pride, his
boasting, his want of secrecy, his insatiable covetousness, his
imparting nectar and ambrosia to mortals, or for all of them together,
since he has been accused of them all, Tantălus was thrown into
Tartărus, where the poets have assigned him a variety of torments. Some
represent a great stone as hanging over his head, which he apprehended
to be continually falling, and was ever in motion to avoid it. Others
describe him as afflicted with constant thirst and hunger, though the
most delicious banquets were exposed to his view; one of the Furies
terrifying him with her torch whenever he approached towards them. Some
exhibit him standing to the chin in water, and whenever he stooped to
quench his thirst, the water as constantly eluding his lip. Others, with
fruits luxuriously growing around him, which he no sooner advanced to
touch, than the wind blew them into the clouds.


_Monsters of Hell._

HARPYIÆ, _or_ HARPIES, were three in number, their names, Celæno, Aëllo,
and Ocypĕte. The ancients looked on them as a sort of Genii, or Dæmons.
They had the faces of virgins, the ears of bears, the bodies of
vultures, human arms and feet, and long claws, hooked like the talons of
carnivorous birds. Phineas, king of Arcadia, being a prophet, and
revealing the mysteries of Jupiter to mortals, was by that deity struck
blind, and so tormented by the Harpies that he was ready to perish for
hunger; they devouring whatever was set before him, till the sons of
Boreas, who attended Jason in his expedition to Colchis, delivered the
good old king, and drove these monsters to the islands called
Strophădes: compelling them to swear never more to return.

The Harpies, according to the ingenious Abbé la Pluche, had their origin
in Egypt. He further observes, in respect to them, that during the
months of April, May, and June, especially the two latter, Egypt being
very subject to tempests, which laid waste their olive grounds, and
carried thither numerous swarms of grasshoppers, and other troublesome
insects from the shores of the Red Sea, the Egyptians gave to their
emblematic figures of these months a female face, with the bodies and
claws of birds, calling them _Harop_, or winged destroyers. This
solution of the fable corresponds with the opinion of Le Clerc, who
takes the harpies to have been a swarm of locusts, the word _Arbi_,
whence Harpy is formed, signifying, in their language, a locust.

GORGONS were three in number, and daughters of Phorcus or Porcys, by his
sister Ceto. Their names were Medūsa, Euryăle, and Stheno, and they are
represented as having scales on their bodies, brazen hands, golden
wings, tusks like boars, and snakes for hair. The last distinction,
however, is confined by Ovid to Medūsa.

According to some mythologists, Perseus having been sent against Medūsa
by the gods, was supplied by Mercury with a falchion, by Minerva with a
mirror, and by Pluto with a helmet, which rendered the wearer invisible.
Thus equipped, through the aid of winged sandals, he steered his course
towards Tartessus, where, finding the object of his search, by the
reflection of his mirror, he was enabled to aim his weapon, without
meeting her eye, (for her look would have turned him to stone) and at
one blow struck off her head. When Perseus had slain Medūsa, the other
sisters pursued him, but he escaped from their sight by means of his
helmet. They were afterwards thrown into hell.

SPHINX was a female monster, daughter of Typhon and Echidna. She had the
head, face, and breasts of a woman, the wings of a bird, the claws of a
lion, and the body of a dog. She lived on mount Sphincius, infested the
country about Thebes, and assaulted passengers, by proposing dark and
enigmatical questions to them, which if they did not explain, she tore
them in pieces. Sphinx made horrible ravages in the neighborhood of
Thebes, till Creon, then king of that city, published an edict over all
Greece, promising that if any one should explain the riddle of Sphinx,
he would give him his own sister Iocasta in marriage.

The riddle was this, "What animal is that which goes upon four feet in
the morning, upon two at noon, and upon three at night?" Many had
endeavored to explain this riddle, but failing in the attempt, were
destroyed by the monster; till Œdipus undertook the solution, and thus
explained it: "The animal is man, who in his infancy creeps, and so may
be said to go on four feet; when he gets into the noon of life, he walks
on two feet; but when he grows old, or declines into the evening of his
days, he uses the support of a staff, and thus may be said to walk on
three feet." The Sphinx being enraged at this explanation, cast herself
headlong from a rock and died.


_Dii indigĕtes, or Heroes who received divine Honors after Death._

HERCULES was the son of Jupiter by Alcmena, wife of Amphitryon, king of
Thebes, and is said to have been born in that city about 1280 years
before the Christian era. During his infancy Juno sent two serpents to
kill him in his cradle, but the undaunted child grasping one in either
hand, immediately strangled them both. As he grew up, he discovered an
uncommon degree of vigor both of body and of mind. Nor were his
extraordinary endowments neglected; for his education was intrusted to
the greatest masters. The tasks imposed on him by Eurystheus, on account
of the danger and difficulty which attended their execution, received
the name of the _Labors of Hercules_, and are commonly reckoned, (at
least the most material of them) to have been twelve.

The first was his engagement with Cleonæan lion, which furious animal,
it is said, fell from the orb of the moon by Juno's direction, and was
invunerable. It infested the woods between Phlius and Cleōne, and
committed uncommon ravages. The hero attacked it both with his arrows
and club, but in vain, till, perceiving his error, he tore asunder its
jaws with his hands.

The second labor was his conquest of the Lernæan hydra, a formidable
serpent or monster which harbored in the fens of Lerna, and infected the
region of Argos with his poisonous exhalations. This seems to have been
one of the most difficult tasks in which Hercules was ever engaged. The
number of heads assigned the hydra is various; some give him seven, some
nine, others fifty, and Ovid an hundred; but all authors agree that when
one was cut off, another sprung forth in its place, unless the wound was
immediately cauterized. Hercules, not discouraged, attacked him, and
having ordered Iŏlas, his friend and companion, to cut down wood
sufficient for fire-brands, he no sooner had cut off a head than he
applied these brands to the wounds; by which means searing them up, he
obtained a complete victory.

The third labor was to bring alive to Eurystheus an enormous wild boar
which ravaged the forest of Erymanthus in Arcadia, and had been sent to
Phocis by Diāna to punish Ænēas, for neglecting her sacrifices. Hercules
brought him bound to Eurystheus. There is nothing descriptive of this
exploit in any of the Roman poets.

The fourth labor was the capture of the Mænalæan stag. Eurystheus, after
repeated proofs of the strength and valor of Hercules, resolved to try
his agility, and commanded him to take a wild stag that frequented mount
Mænălus, which had brazen feet and golden horns. As this animal was
sacred to Diāna, Hercules durst not wound him; but though it were no
easy matter to run him down, yet this, after pursuing him on foot for a
year, the hero at last effected.

The fifth labor of Hercules consisted in killing the Stymphalĭdes, birds
so called from frequenting the lake Stymphālis in Arcadia, which preyed
upon human flesh, having wings, beaks, and talons of iron. Some say
Hercules destroyed these birds with his arrows, others that Pallas sent
him brazen rattles, made by Vulcan, the sound of which so terrified
them, that they took shelter in the island of Aretia. There are authors
who suppose these birds called Stymphalĭdes, to have been a gang of
desperate banditti who had their haunts near the lake Stymphālis.

The sixth labor was his cleansing the stable of Augeas. This Augeas,
king of Elis, had a stable intolerable from the stench occasioned by the
filth it contained, which may be readily imagined from the fact that it
sheltered three thousand oxen, and had not been cleansed for thirty
years. This place Eurystheus ordered Hercules to clear in one day, and
Augeas promised, if he performed the task, to give him a tenth part of
the cattle. Hercules, by turning the course of the river Alphēus through
the stable, executed his design, which Augeas seeing, refused to fulfil
his promise. The hero, to punish his perfidy, slew Augeas with his
arrows, and gave his kingdom to his son Phyleus, who abhorred his
father's treachery.

The seventh labor was the capture of the Cretan bull. Minos, king of
Crete, having acquired the dominion of the Grecian seas, paid no greater
honor to Neptune than to the other gods, wherefore the deity, in
resentment of this ingratitude, sent a bull, which breathed fire from
his nostrils, to destroy the people of Crete. Hercules took this furious
animal, and brought him to Eurystheus, who, because the bull was sacred,
let him loose into the country of Marathon, where he was afterwards
slain by Theseus.

The eighth labor of Hercules, was the killing of Diomēdes and his
horses. That infamous tyrant was king of Thrace, and son of Mars and
Cyrēne. Among other things he is said to have driven in his war-chariot
four furious horses, which, to render the more impetuous, he used to
feed on the flesh and blood of his subjects. Hercules is said to have
freed the world from this barbarous prince, and to have killed both him
and his horses, as is signified in some drawings, and said expressly by
some of the poets. Some report that the tyrant was given by Hercules as
a prey to his own horses.

The ninth labor of Hercules was his combat with Geryon, king of Spain.
Geryon is generally represented with three bodies agreeable to the
expressions used of him by the poets, and sometimes with three heads. He
had a breed of oxen of a purple color, (which devoured all strangers
cast to them) guarded by a dog with two heads, a dragon with seven,
besides a very watchful and severe keeper. Hercules, however, killed the
monarch and all his guards, and carried the oxen to Gades, whence he
brought them to Eurystheus. Some mythologists explain this fable by
saying that Geryon was king of three islands, now called Majorca,
Minorca, and Ivica, on which account he was fabled to be triple bodied
and headed.

The tenth labor of Hercules was his conquest of Hippolyte queen of the
Amazons. His eleventh labor consisted in dragging Cerebus from the
infernal regions into day. The twelfth and last was killing the serpent,
and gaining the golden fruit in the gardens of the Hesperides.

Hercules, after his conquests in Spain, having made himself famous in
the country of the Celtæ or Gauls, is said to have there founded a large
and populous city, which he called Alesia. His favorite wife was
Dejanira, whose jealousy most fatally occasioned his death. Hercules
having subdued Œchalia and killed Eurytus the king, carried off the fair
Iŏle, his daughter, with whom Dejanira suspecting him to be in love,
sent him the garment of Nessus, the Centaur, as a remedy to recover his
affections; this garment, however, having been pierced with an arrow
dipped in the blood of the Lernæan hydra, whilst worn by Nessus,
contracted a poison from his blood incurable by art. No sooner,
therefore, was it put on by Hercules than he was seized with a delirious
fever, attended with the most excruciating torments. Unable to support
his pains, he retired to mount Œta, where, raising a pile, and setting
it on fire, he threw himself upon it, and was consumed in the flames,
after having killed in his phrenzy Lycus his friend. His arrows he
bequeathed to Philoctētes, who interred his remains.

After his death he was deified by his father Jupiter. Diōdorus Siculus
relates that he was no sooner ranked amongst the gods than Juno, who had
so violently persecuted him whilst on earth, adopted him for her son,
and loved him with the tenderness of a mother. Hercules was afterwards
married to Hebe, goddess of youth, his half sister, with all the
splendor of a celestial wedding; but he refused the honor which Jupiter
designed him, of being ranked with the twelve gods, alleging there was
no vacancy; and that it would be unreasonable to degrade any other god
for the purpose of admitting him.

Both the Greeks and Romans honored him as a god, and as such erected to
him temples. His victims were bulls and lambs, on account of his
preserving the flocks from wolves; that is, delivering men from tyrants
and robbers. He was worshipped by the ancient Latins under the name of
Dius, or Divus Fidius, that is, the guarantee or protector of faith
promised or sworn. They had a custom of calling this deity to witness by
a sort of oath expressed in these terms, _Me Dius Fidius!_ that is, so
help me the god Fidius! or Hercules.

PERSEUS was the son of Jupiter and Danăe, daughter of Acrisius king of
Argos. When Perseus was grown up, Polydectes, who was enamored of his
mother, finding him an obstacle to their union, contrived to send him on
an exploit, which he hoped would be fatal to him. This was to bring him
the head of Medūsa, one of the Gorgons. In his expedition Perseus was
favored by the gods; Mercury equipped him with a scymetar, and the wings
from his heels; Pallas lent him a shield which reflected objects like a
mirror; and Pluto granted him his helmet, which rendered him invisible.
In this manner he flew to Tartessus in Spain, where, directed by the
reflection of Medūsa in his mirror, he cut off her head, and brought it
to Pallas. From the blood arose the winged horse Pegăsus.

After this the hero passed into Mauritania, where repairing to the court
of Atlas, that monarch ordered him to retire, with menaces, in case of
disobedience; but Perseus, presenting his shield, with the dreadful head
of Medūsa, changed him into the mountain which still bears his name. In
his return to Greece he visited Ethiopia, mounted on Pegăsus, and
delivered Andromĕda, daughter of Cepheus, (who was exposed on a rock of
that coast to be devoured by a monster of the deep) on condition he
might make her his wife: but Phineas, her uncle, sought to prevent him,
by attempting, with a party, to carry off the bride. The attempt,
notwithstanding, was rendered abortive; for the hero, by showing them
the head of the Gorgon, at once turned them to stone.

Perseus having completed these exploits, was desirous of revisiting
home, and accordingly set off for that purpose with his wife and his
mother. Arriving on the coast of Peloponnesus, and learning that
Teutamias, king of Larissa, was then celebrating games in honor of his
father, Perseus, wishing to exhibit his skill at the quoit, of which he
has been deemed the inventor, resolved to go thither. In this contest,
however, he was so unfortunate as to kill Acrisius, the father of his
mother, who, on the report that Perseus was returning to the place of
his nativity, had fled to the court of Teutamias his friend, to avoid
the denunciation of the oracle, which had induced him to exercise such
cruelty on his offspring. At what time Perseus died is unknown; but all
agree that divine honors were paid him. He had statues at Mycēnæ and in
Seriphos. A temple was erected to him in Athens, and an altar in it
consecrated to Dictys.


    Pl. 8.]

ACHILLES was the offspring of a goddess. Thetis bore him to Peleus, king
of Thessaly, and was so fond of him, that she charged herself with his
education. By day she fed him with ambrosia, and by night covered him
with celestial fire, to render him immortal. She also dipped him in the
waters of Styx, by which his whole body became invulnerable, except that
part of his heel by which she held him. He was afterwards committed to
the care of Chiron the Centaur, who fed him with honey, and the marrow
of lions and wild boars; whence he obtained that strength of body and
greatness of soul which qualified him for martial toil.

When the Greeks undertook the siege of Troy, Calchas the diviner, and
priest of Apollo, foretold that the city should not be taken without the
help of Achilles. Thetis, his mother, who knew that Achilles, if he went
to the siege of Troy, would never return, clothed him in female apparel,
and concealed him among the maidens at the court of Lycomēdes, king of
the island of Scyros. But this stratagem proved ineffectual; for Calchas
having informed the Greeks where Achilles lay in disguise, they sent
Ulysses to the court of Lycomēdes, where, under the appearance of a
merchant, he was introduced to the king's daughters, and while they were
studiously intent on viewing his toys, Achilles employed himself in
examining an helmet, which the cunning politician had thrown in his way.

Achilles thus detected, was prevailed on to go to Troy, after Thetis had
furnished him with impenetrable armor made by Vulcan. Thither he led the
troops of Thessaly, in fifty ships, and distinguished himself by a
number of heroic actions; but being disgusted with Agamemnon for the
loss of Briseis, he retired from the camp, and resolved to have no
further concern in the war. In this resolution he continued inexorable,
till news was brought him that Hector had killed his friend Patrōclus;
to avenge his death he not only slew Hector, but fastened the corpse to
his chariot, dragged it round the walls of Troy, offered many
indignities to it, and sold it at last to Priam his father.

Authors are much divided on the manner of Achilles' death; some relate
that he was slain by Apollo, or that this god enabled Paris to kill him,
by directing the arrow to his heel, the only part in which he was
vulnerable. Others again say, that Paris murdered him treacherously, in
the temple of Apollo, whilst treating about his marriage with Polyxĕna,
daughter to king Priam.

Though this tradition concerning his death be commonly received, yet
Homer plainly enough insinuates that Achilles died fighting for his
country, and represents the Greeks as maintaining a bloody battle about
his body, which lasted a whole day. Achilles having been lamented by
Thetis, the Nereids, and the Muses, was buried on the promontory of
Sigæum; and after Troy was captured, the Greeks endeavored to appease
his manes by sacrificing Polyxĕna, on his tomb, as his ghost had

The oracle at Dodōna decreed him divine honors, and ordered annual
victims to be offered at the place of his sepulture. In pursuance of
this, the Thessalians brought hither yearly two bulls, one black, the
other white, crowned with wreaths of flowers, and water from the river
Sperchius. It is said that Alexander, seeing his tomb, honored it by
placing a crown upon it, at the same time crying out "that Achilles was
happy in having, during his life, such a friend as Patrōclus, and after
his death, a poet like Homer."

ATLAS was son of Japĕtus and Clymĕne, and brother of Prometheus,
according to most authors; or, as others relate, son of Japĕtus by Asia,
daughter of Oceănus. He had many children. Of his sons, the most famous
were Hespĕrus (whom some call his brother) and Hyas. By his wife Pleione
he had seven daughters, who went by the general names of Atlantĭdes, or
Pleiădes; and by his wife Æthra he had also seven other daughters, who
bore the common appellation of the Hyădes.

According to Hygīnus, Atlas having assisted the giants in their war
against Jupiter, was doomed by the victorious god, as a punishment, to
sustain the weight of the heavens. Ovid, however, represents him as a
powerful and wealthy monarch, proprietor of the gardens of the
Hesperĭdes, which bore golden fruit; but that being warned by the oracle
of Themis that he should suffer some great injury from a son of Jupiter,
he strictly forbade all foreigners access to his presence. Perseus,
however, having the courage to appear before him, was ordered to retire,
with strong menaces in case of disobedience; but the hero presenting his
shield, with the dreadful head of Medūsa, turned him into the mountain
which still bears his name.

The Abbé la Pluche has given a very clear and ingenious explication of
this fable. Of all nations the Egyptians had, with the greatest
assiduity, cultivated astronomy. To point out the difficulties attending
the study of this science, they represented it by an image bearing a
globe or sphere on its back, which they called _Atlas_, a word
signifying _great toil or labor_; but the word also signifying
_support_, the Phœnicians, led by the representation, took it in this
sense, and in their voyages to Mauritania, seeing the high mountains of
that country covered with snow, and losing their tops in the clouds,
gave them the name of _Atlas_, and thus produced the fable by which the
symbol of astronomy used among the Egyptians became a Mauritanian king,
transformed into a mountain, whose head supports the heavens.

The rest of the fable is equally obvious to explanation. The annual
inundations of the Nile obliged the Egyptians to be very exact in
observing the motions of the heavenly bodies. The Hyades, or Huades,
took their name from the figure V, which they form in the head of
Taurus. The Pleiades were a remarkable constellation and of great use to
the Egyptians in regulating the seasons: hence they became the daughters
of Atlas; and Orion, who arose just as they set, was called their lover.

By the golden apples that grew in the gardens of the Hesperides, the
Phœnicians expressed the rich and beneficial commerce they had in the
Mediterranean, which being carried on during three months only of the
year, gave rise to the fable of the Hesperian sisters. The most usual
way of representing Atlas, among the ancient artists, was as supporting
a globe; for the old poets commonly refer to this attitude in speaking
of him.

PROMETHEUS was son of Japĕtus, but it is doubtful whether his mother
were Asia, or Themis. Having incurred the displeasure of Jupiter, either
for stealing some of the celestial fire, or for forming a man of clay,
Jupiter, in resentment, commanded Vulcan to make a woman of clay, which,
when finished, was introduced into the assembly of the gods, each of
whom bestowed on her some additional charm or perfection. Venus gave her
beauty, Pallas wisdom, Juno riches, Mercury taught her eloquence, and
Apollo music. From all these accomplishments she was styled Pandōra,
that is, loaded with gifts and accomplishments, and was the first of her

Jupiter, to complete his designs, presented her a box, in which he had
enclosed age, disease, war, famine, pestilence, discord, envy, calumny,
and, in short, all the evils and vices with which he intended to afflict
the world. Thus equipped, Pandōra was sent to Prometheus, who, being on
his guard against the mischief designed him, declined accepting the box;
but Epimetheus, his brother, though forewarned of the danger, had less
resolution; for, being enamored of the beauty of Pandōra, he married
her, and opened the fatal treasure, when immediately flew abroad the
contents, which soon overspread the world, hope only remaining at the

Prometheus escaping the evil which the god designed him, and Jupiter not
being appeased, Mercury and Vulcan were despatched by him to seize
Prometheus, and chain him on Mount Caucasus, where a vulture, the
offspring of Typhon and Echidna, was commissioned to prey upon his
liver, which, that his torment might be endless, was constantly renewed
by night in proportion to its increase by day; but the vulture being
soon destroyed by Hercules, Prometheus was released. Others say, that
Jupiter restored Prometheus to freedom, for discovering the conspiracy
of Saturn, his father, and dissuading his intended marriage with Thetis.

Nicander, to this fable, offers an additional one. He tells us, that
when mankind had received the fire from Prometheus, some ungrateful men
discovered the theft to Jupiter, who rewarded them with the gift of
_perpetual youth_. This present they put on the back of an ass, which
stopping at a fountain to quench his thirst, was prevented by a
water-snake which would not suffer him to drink till he gave him his
burden; hence the serpent renews his youth upon changing his skin.

Prometheus was esteemed the inventor of many useful arts. He made man of
the mixture and temperament of all the elements, gave him strength of
body, vigor of mind, and the peculiar qualities of all creatures, as the
craft of the fox, the courage of the lion, &c. He had an altar in the
academy of Athens in common with Vulcan and Pallas. In his statues he
holds a sceptre in the right hand.

Several explanations have been given of this fable. Prometheus, whose
name is derived from a Greek word, signifying foresight and providence,
was conspicuous for that quality; and because he reduced mankind, before
rude and savage, to a state of culture and improvement, he was feigned
to have made them from clay: being a diligent observer of the motions of
the heavenly bodies from Mount Caucasus, it was fabled that he was
chained there: having discovered the method of striking fire from the
flint, or perhaps, the nature of lightning, it was pretended that he
stole fire from the gods: and, because he applied himself to study with
intenseness, they imagined that a vulture preyed continually on his

There is another solution of this fable, analogous to the preceding.
According to Pliny, Prometheus was the first who instituted sacrifices.
Being expelled his dominions by Jupiter, he fled to Scythia, where he
retired to Mount Caucasus, either to make astronomical calculations or
to indulge his melancholy for the loss of his dominions, which
occasioned the fable of the vulture or eagle feeding on his liver. As he
was the first inventor of forging metals by fire, he was said to have
stolen that element from heaven; and, as the first introduction of
agriculture and navigation had been ascribed to him, he was celebrated
as forming a living man from an inanimate substance.

AMPHION, king of Thebes, son of Jupiter and Antiŏpe, was instructed in
the use of the lyre by Mercury, and became so great a proficient, that
he is reported to have built the walls of Thebes by the power of his
harmony, which caused the listening stones to ascend voluntarily. He
married Niŏbe, daughter of Tantălus, whose insult to Diāna occasioned
the loss of their children by the arrows of Apollo and Diāna. The
unhappy father, attempting to revenge himself by the destruction of the
temple of Apollo, was punished with the loss of his sight and skill, and
thrown into the infernal regions.

ORPHEUS, son of Apollo by the Muse Calliŏpe, was born in Thrace, and
resided near Mount Rhodŏpe, where he married Eurydice, a princess of
that country. Aristæus, a neighboring prince, fell desperately in love
with her, but she flying from his violence, was killed by the bite of a
serpent. Her disconsolate husband was so affected at his loss, that he
descended by the way of Tænărus to hell, in order to recover his beloved
wife. As music and poetry were to Orpheus hereditary talents, he exerted
them so powerfully in the infernal regions, that Pluto and Proserpine,
touched with compassion, restored to him his consort on condition that
he should not look back upon her till they came to the light of the
world. His impatience, however, prevailing, he broke the condition, and
lost Eurydice forever.

Whilst Orpheus was among the shades, he sang the praises of all the gods
but Bacchus, whom he accidentally omitted; to revenge this affront,
Bacchus inspired the Mænădes, his priestesses, with such fury, that they
tore Orpheus to pieces, and scattered his limbs about the fields. His
head was cast into the river Hebrus, and (together with his harp) was
carried by the tide to Lesbos, where it afterwards delivered oracles.
The harp, with seven strings, representing the seven planets, which had
been given him by Apollo, was taken up into heaven, and graced with nine
stars by the nine Muses. Orpheus himself was changed into a swan. He
left a son called Methon, who founded in Thrace a city of his own name.

It is certain that Orpheus may be placed as the earliest poet of Greece,
where he first introduced astronomy, divinity, music and poetry; all
which he had learned in Egypt. He introduced also the rites of Bacchus,
which from him were called Orphica. He was a person of most consummate
knowledge, and the wisest, as well as the most diligent scholar of

If we search for the origin of this fable, we must again have recourse
to Egypt, the mother-country of fiction. In July, when the sun entered
Leo, the Nile overflowed all the plains. To denote the public joy at
seeing the inundation rise to its due height, the Egyptians exhibited a
youth playing on the lyre, or the sistrum, and sitting by a tame lion.
When the waters did not increase as they should, the Horus was
represented stretched on the back of a lion, as dead. This symbol they
called Oreph, or Orpheus, (from _oreph_, the back part of the head) to
signify that agriculture was then quite unseasonable and dormant.

The songs with which the people amused themselves during this period of
inactivity, for want of exercise, were called the hymns of Orpheus; and
as husbandry revived immediately after, it gave rise to the fable of
Orpheus's returning from hell. The Isis placed near this Horus, they
called Eurydice, (from _eri_, a _lion_, and _daca_, _tamed_, is formed
_Eridica_, _Eurydice_, or the lion tamed, _i.e._ the violence of the
inundation overcome), and as the Greeks took all these figures in the
literal, not in the emblematical sense, they made Eurydice the wife of

OSIRIS, son of Jupiter and Niŏbe, was king of the Argives many years;
but, being instigated by the desire of glory, he left his kingdom to his
brother Ægiălus, and went into Egypt, in search of a new name and
kingdom there. The Egyptians were not so much overcome by the valor of
Osīris, as obliged to him for his kindness towards them. Having
conferred the greatest benefits on his subjects, by civilizing their
manners, and instructing them in husbandry and other useful arts, he
made the necessary disposition of his affairs, committed the regency to
Isis, and set out with a body of forces in order to civilize the rest of
mankind. This he performed more by the power of persuasion, and the
soothing arts of music and poetry, than by the terror of his arms.

In his absence, Typhœus, the giant, whom historians call the brother of
Osīris, formed a conspiracy to dethrone him; for which end, at the
return of Osīris into Egypt, he invited him to a feast, at the
conclusion of which a chest of exquisite workmanship was brought in, and
offered to him who, when laid down in it, should be found to fit it the
best. Osīris, not suspecting a trick to be played him, got into the
chest, and the cover being immediately shut upon him, this good but
unfortunate prince was thus thrown into the Nile.

When the news of this transaction reached Coptus, where Isis his wife
then was, she cut her hair, and in deep mourning went every where in
search of the dead body. This was at length discovered, and concealed by
her at Butus; but Typhœus, while hunting by moonlight, having found it
there, tore it into many pieces, which he scattered abroad. Isis then
traversed the lakes and watery places in a boat made of the _papyrus_,
seeking the mangled parts of Osīris, and where she found any, there she
buried them; hence the many tombs ascribed to Osīris.

Plutarch seems evidently to prove that the Egyptians worshipped the Sun
under the name of Osīris. His reasons are: 1. Because the images of
Osīris were always clothed in a shining garment, to represent the rays
and light of the sun. 2. In their hymns, composed in honor of Osīris,
they prayed to him who reposes himself in the bosom of the sun. 3. After
the autumnal equinox, they celebrated a feast called, _The disappearing
of Osīris_, by which is plainly meant the absence and distance of the
sun. 4. In the month of November they led a cow seven times round the
temple of Osīris, intimating thereby, that in seven months the sun would
return to the summer solstice.

He is represented sitting upon a throne, crowned with a mitre full of
small orbs, to intimate his superiority over all the globe. The gourd
upon the mitre implies his action and influence upon moisture, which,
and the Nile particularly, was termed by the Egyptians, the efflux of
Osīris. The lower part of his habit is made up of descending rays, and
his body is surrounded with orbs. His right hand is extended in a
commanding attitude, and his left holds a _thyrsus_ or staff of the
_papyrus_, pointing out the principle of humidity, and the fertility
thence flowing, under his direction.

ÆSCULAPIUS. The name of Æsculapius, whom the Greeks called Ασκληπιος,
appears to have been foreign, and derived from the oriental languages.
Being honored as a god in Phœnicia and Egypt, his worship passed into
Greece, and was established, first at Epidaurus, a city of Peloponnesus,
bordering on the sea, where, probably, some colonies first settled; a
circumstance sufficient for the Greeks to give out that this god was a
native of Greece.

Not to mention all we are told of his parents, it will be enough to
observe, that the opinion generally received in Greece, made him the son
of Apollo by Corōnis, daughter of Phlegyas; and indeed the Messenians,
who consulted the oracle of Delphi to know where Æsculapius was born,
and of what parents, were told by the oracle, or more properly Apollo,
that he himself was his father; that Corōnis was his mother, and that
their son was born at Epidaurus.

Phlegyas, the most warlike man of his age, having gone into Peloponnesus
under pretence of travelling, but, in truth, to spy into the condition
of the country, carried his daughter Corōnis thither, who, to conceal
her situation from her father, went to Epidaurus: there she was
delivered of a son, whom she exposed upon a mountain, called to this day
Mount Titthion, or _of the breast_; but before this adventure, Myrthion,
from the myrtles that grew upon it.

The reason of this change of name was, that the child, having been here
abandoned, was suckled by one of those goats of the mountain, which the
dog of Aristhĕnes the goat-herd guarded. When Aristhĕnes came to review
his flock, he found a she-goat and his dog missing, and going in search
of them discovered the child. Upon approaching to lift him from the
earth, he perceived his head encircled with fiery rays, which made him
believe the child to be of divine origin.

As Κορωνη in the Greek language signifies a crow, hence another fable
arose importing, as we see in Lucian, that Æsculapius had sprung from an
egg of a bird, under the figure of a serpent. Whatever these fictions
may mean, Æsculapius being removed from the mount on which he was
exposed, was nursed by Trigo or Trigone, who was probably the wife of
the goat-herd that found him; and when he was capable of improving by
Chiron, Phlegyas (to whom he had doubtless been returned) put him under
the Centaur's tuition.

Being of a quick and lively genius, he made such progress as soon to
become not only a great physician, but at length to be reckoned the god
and inventor of medicine; though the Greeks, not very consistent in the
history of those early ages, gave to Apis, son of Phoroneus, the glory
of having discovered the healing art. Æsculapius accompanied Jason in
his expedition to Colchis, and in his medical capacity was of great
service to the Argonauts. Within a short time after his death he was
deified, and received divine honors: some add, that he formed the
celestial sign, Serpentarius.

As the Greeks always carried the encomiums of their great men beyond the
truth, they feigned that Æsculapius was so expert in medicine, as not
only to cure the sick, but even to raise the dead. Ovid says he did this
by Hippolĭtus, and Julian says the same of Tyndărus: that Pluto cited
him before the tribunal of Jupiter, and complained that his empire was
considerably diminished and in danger of becoming desolate, from the
cures Æsculapius performed; so that Jupiter in wrath slew Æsculapius
with a thunder-bolt; to which they added that Apollo, enraged at the
death of his son, killed the Cyclops who forged Jupiter's thunder-bolts:
a fiction which obviously signifies only, that Æsculapius had carried
his art very far, and that he cured diseases believed to be desperate.

Æsculapius is always represented under the figure of a grave old man
wrapped up in a cloak, having sometimes upon his head the _calăthus_ of
Serāpis, with a staff in his hand, which is commonly wreathed about with
a serpent; sometimes again with a serpent in one hand, and a _patĕra_ in
the other; sometimes leaning upon a pillar, round which a serpent also
twines. The cock, a bird consecrated to this god, whose vigilance
represents that quality which physicians ought to have, is sometimes at
the feet of his statues. Socrates, we know, when dying, said to those
who stood around him in his last moments, "We owe a cock to Æsculapius;
give it without delay."

ULYSSES, king of Ithăca, was the son of Laertes, or Laertius and
Anticlēa. His wife Penelŏpe, daughter of Icarius brother of Tyndărus
king of Sparta, was highly famed for her prudence and virtue; and being
unwilling that the Trojan war should part them, Ulysses to avoid the
expedition, pretended to be mad, and not only joined different beasts to
the same plough, but sowed also the furrows with salt.

Palamēdes, however, suspecting the frenzy to be assumed, threw
Telemachus, then an infant, in the way of the plough, to try if his
father would alter its course. This stratagem succeeded; for when
Ulysses came to the child he turned off from the spot, in consequence of
which Palamēdes compelled him to take part in the war. He accordingly
sailed with twelve ships, and was signally serviceable to the Greeks.

To him the capture of Troy is chiefly to be ascribed, since by him the
obstacles were removed, which had so long prevented it. For as Ulysses
himself was detected by Palamēdes, so he in his turn detected Achilles,
who, to avoid engaging in the same war, had concealed himself in the
habits of a woman, at the court of Lycomēdes, king of Scyros. Ulysses
there discovered him, and as it had been foretold that without Achilles
Troy could not be taken, thence drew him to the siege.

He also obtained the arrows of Hercules, from Philoctētes, and carried
off that hero from the scene of his retreat. He brought away also the
ashes of Laomĕdon, which were preserved in Troy on the Scœan gate. By
him the Palladium was stolen from the same city; Rhesus, king of Thrace,
killed, and his horses taken before they had drank of the Xanthus. These
exploits involved in them the destiny of Troy; for had the Trojans
preserved them, their city could never have been conquered.

Ulysses contended afterwards with Telamonian Ajax, the stoutest of all
the Grecians, except Achilles, for the arms of that hero, which were
awarded to him by the judges, who were won by the charms of his
eloquence. His other enterprises before Troy were numerous and
brilliant, and are particularly related in the Iliad. When Ulysses
departed for Greece, he sailed backwards and forwards for twenty years,
contrary winds and severe weather opposing his return to Ithăca.

During this period, he extinguished, with a firebrand, the eye of
Polyphēmus; then sailing to Æolia, he obtained from Æŏlus all the winds
which were contrary to him, and put them into leathern bags; his
companions, however, believing these bags to be full of money, entered
into a plot to rob him, and accordingly, when they came on the coast of
Ithăca, untied the bags, upon which the wind rushing out, he was again
blown back to Æolia.

When Circe had turned his companions into swine and other brutes, he
first fortified himself against her charms with the herb Moly, an
antidote Mercury had given him; and then rushing into her cave with his
drawn sword, compelled her to restore his associates to their original

He is said to have gone down into hell, to know his future fortune, from
the prophet Tiresias. When he sailed to the islands of the Sirens, he
stopped the ears of his companions, and bound himself with strong ropes
to the ship's mast, that he might secure himself against the snares into
which, by their charming voices, passengers were habitually allured.
Lastly, after his ship was wrecked, he escaped by swimming, and came
naked and alone, to the port of Phæacia, in the island of Corcyra, where
Nausicăa, daughter of king Alcinŏus, found him in a profound sleep, into
which he was thrown by the indulgence of Minerva.

When his companions were found, and his ship refitted, he bent his
course toward Ithăca, where arriving, and having put on the habit of a
beggar, he went to his neatherds, with whom he found his son Telemachus,
and with them went home in disguise. After having received several
affronts from the suitors of Penelŏpe, with the assistance of his son
Telemachus and the neatherds, to whom he had discovered himself, he
killed Antinŏus, and the other princes who were competitors for her
favor. After reigning some time, he resigned the government of his
kingdom to Telemachus.

CASTOR and POLLUX were the twin sons of Jupiter and Leda. These brothers
entered into an inviolable friendship, and when they grew up, cleared
the Archipelago of pirates, on which account they were esteemed deities
of the sea, and accordingly were invoked by mariners in tempests. They
went with the other noble youths of Greece in the expedition to Colchis,
in search of the golden fleece, and on all occasions signalized
themselves by their courage.

In this expedition Pollux slew Amycus, son of Neptune, and king of
Bebrycia, who had challenged all the Argonauts to box with him. This
victory, and that which he gained afterwards at the Olympic games which
Hercules celebrated in Elis, caused him to be considered the hero and
patron of wrestlers, while his brother Castor distinguished himself in
the race, and in the management of horses.

Cicero relates a wonderful judgment which happened to one Scopas, who
had spoken disrespectfully of these divinities: he was crushed to death
by the fall of a chamber, whilst Simonĭdes, who was in the same room,
was rescued from the danger, being called out a little before, by two
persons unknown, supposed to be Castor and Pollux.

The Greek and Roman histories are full of the miraculous appearance of
these brethren; particularly we are told they were seen fighting upon
two white horses, at the head of the Roman army, in the battle between
the Romans and Latins, near the lake Regillus, and brought the news of
the decisive victory of Paulus Æmilius to Rome, the very day it was

Frequent representations of these deities occur on ancient monuments,
and particularly on consular medals. They are exhibited together, each
having a helmet, out of which issues a flame, and each a pike in one
hand, and in the other a horse held by the bridle: sometimes they are
represented as two beautiful youths, completely armed, and riding on
white horses, with stars over their helmets.

AJAX, son of Telămon, king of Salămis, by Beribœa, was, next to
Achilles, the most valiant among the Greeks at the seige of Troy. He
commanded the troops of Salămis in that expedition, and performed the
various heroic actions mentioned by Homer, and Ovid, in the speech of
Ajax contending for the armor of Achilles. This armor, however, being
adjudged to his competitor Ulysses, his disappointment so enraged him,
that he immediately became mad, and rushed furiously upon a flock of
sheep, imagining he was killing those who had offended him: but at
length perceiving his mistake, he became still more furious, and stabbed
himself with the fatal sword he had received from Hector, with whom he
had fought. Ajax resembled Achilles in several respects; like him he was
violent, and impatient of contradiction; and, like him, invulnerable in
every part of the body except one.

He has been charged with impiety; not that he denied the gods a very
extensive power, but he imagined that, as the greatest cowards might
conquer through their assistance, there was no glory in conquering by
such aids; and scorned to owe his victory to aught but his own prowess.
Accordingly, we are told that when he was setting out for Troy, his
father recommended him always to join the assistance of the gods to his
own valor; to which Ajax replied, that cowards themselves were often
victorious by such helps, but for his own part he would make no reliance
of the kind, being assured he should be able to conquer without.

It is further added, upon the head of his irreligion, that to Minerva,
who once offered him her advice, he replied with indignation: "Trouble
not yourself about my conduct; of that I shall give a good account; you
have nothing to do but reserve your favor and assistance for the other
Greeks." Another time she offered to guide his chariot in the battle,
but he would not suffer her. Nay, he even defaced the owl, her favorite
bird, which was engraven on his shield, lest that figure should be
considered as an act of reverence to Minerva, and hence as indicating
distrust in himself.

Homer, however, does not represent him in this light, for though he does
not pray to Jupiter himself when he prepares to engage the valiant
Hector, yet he desires others to pray for him, either in a low voice,
lest the Trojans should hear, or louder if they pleased; for, says he, I
fear no person in the world.

The poets give to Ajax the same commendation that the holy scripture
gives to king Saul, with regard to his stature. He has been the subject
of several tragedies, as well in Greek as Latin; and it is related that
the famous comedian, Æsop, refused to act that part. The Greeks paid
great honor to him after his death, and erected to him a noble monument
upon the promontory of Rhœteum, which was one of those Alexander desired
to see and honor.

JASON was son of Æson, king of Thessaly, and Alcimĕde. He was an infant
when Pelias, his uncle, who was left his guardian, sought to destroy
him; but being, to avoid the danger, conveyed by his relations to a
cave, he was there instructed by Chiron in the art of physic; whence he
took the name of Jason, or the healer, his former name being Diomēdes.
Arriving at years of maturity, he returned to his uncle, who, probably
with no favorable intention to Jason, inspired him with the notion of
the Colchian expedition and agreeably flattered his ambition with the
hopes of acquiring the golden fleece.

Jason having resolved on the voyage, built a vessel at Iolchos in
Thessaly, for the expedition, under the inspection, of Argos, a famous
workman, which, from him, was called Argo: it was said to have been
executed by the advice of Pallas, who pointed out a tree in the Dodonæan
forest for a mast, which was vocal, and had the gift of prophecy.

The fame of the vessel, the largest that had ever been heard of, but
particularly the design itself, soon induced the bravest and most
distinguished youths of Greece to become adventurers in it, and brought
together about fifty of the most accomplished young persons of the age
to accompany Jason in this expedition; authors, however, are not agreed
on the precise names or numbers of the Argonauts; some state them to
have been forty-nine; others more, and amongst them several were of
divine origin.

On his arrival at Colchis he repaired to the court of Æētes, from whom
he demanded the golden fleece. The monarch acceded to his request,
provided he could overcome the difficulties which lay in his way, and
which appeared not easily surmountable; these were bulls with brazen
feet, whose nostrils breathed fire, and a dragon which guarded the
fleece. The teeth of the latter, when killed, Jason was enjoined to sow,
and, after they had sprung up into armed men, to destroy them.

Though success attended the enterprise, it was less owing to valor, than
to the assistance of Medēa, daughter of Æētes, who, by her enchantments,
laid asleep the dragon, taught Jason to subdue the bulls, and when he
had obtained the prize, accompanied him in the night time, unknown to
her brother.

The return of the Argonauts is variously related; some contend it was by
the track in which they came, and say that the brother of Medēa pursued
them as far as the Adriatic, and was overcome by Jason; which occasioned
the story that his sister had cut him in pieces, and strewed his limbs
in the way, that her father, from solicitude to collect them, might be
delayed in the pursuit.


_Other fabulous personages._

GRACES _or_ CHARITES. Among the multitude of ancient divinities, none
had more votaries that the Graces. Particular nations and countries had
appropriate and local deities, but their empire was universal. To their
influence was ascribed all that could please in nature and in art; and
to them every rank and profession concurred in offering their vows.

Their number was generally limited, by the ancient poets, to three:
_Euphrosyne_, _Thalīa_, and _Aglaia_; but they differed concerning their
origin. Some suppose them to have been the offspring of Jupiter and
Eunomia, daughter of Oceănus; but the most prevalent opinion is, that
they were descended from Bacchus and Venus. According to Homer, Aglaia,
the youngest, was married to Vulcan, and another of them to the god of
Sleep. The Graces were companions of _Mercury_, _Venus_, and the

Festivals were celebrated in honor of them throughout the whole year.
They were esteemed the dispensers of liberality, eloquence, and wisdom;
and from them were derived simplicity of manners, a graceful deportment,
and gaiety of disposition. From their inspiring acts of gratitude and
mutual kindness they were described as uniting hand in hand with each
other. The ancients partook of but few repasts without invoking them, as
well as the Muses.

SIRENS were a kind of fabulous beings represented by some as
sea-monsters, with the faces of women and the tails of fishes, answering
the description of mermaids; and by others said to have the upper parts
of a woman, and the under parts of a bird. Their number is not
determined; Homer reckons only two; others five, namely, Leucosia,
Ligeia, Parthenŏpe, Aglaŏphon, and Molpe; others admit only the three

The poets represent them as beautiful women inhabiting the rocks on the
sea-shore, whither having allured passengers by the sweetness of their
voices, they put them to death. Virgil places them on rocks where
vessels are in danger of shipwreck; Pliny makes them inhabit the
promontory of Minerva, near the island Capreæ; others fix them in
Sicily, near cape Pelōrus.

Claudian says they inhabited harmonious rocks, that they were charming
monsters, and that sailors were wrecked on their coasts without regret,
and even expired in rapture. This description is doubtless founded on a
literal explication of the fable, that the Sirens were women who
inhabited the shores of Sicily, and who, by the allurements of pleasure,
stopped passengers, and made them forget their course.

Ovid says they accompanied Proserpine when she was carried off, and that
the gods granted them wings to go in quest of that goddess. Homer places
the Sirens in the midst of a meadow drenched in blood, and tells us that
fate had permitted them to reign till some person should over-reach
them; that the wise Ulysses accomplished their destiny, having escaped
their snares, by stopping the ears of his companions with wax, and
causing himself to be fastened to the mast of his ship, which, he adds,
plunged them into so deep despair, that they drowned themselves in the
sea, where they were transformed into fishes from the waist downwards.

Others, who do not look for so much mystery in this fable, maintain that
the Sirens were nothing but certain straits in the sea, where the waves
whirling furiously around seized and swallowed up vessels that
approached them. Lastly, some hold the Sirens to have been certain
shores and promontories, where the winds, by various reverberations and
echoes, cause a kind of harmony that surprises and stops passengers.
This probably might be the origin of the Sirens' song, and the occasion
of giving the name of Sirens to those rocks.

Some interpreters of the ancient fables contend, that the number and
names of the three Sirens were taken from the triple pleasure of the
senses, wine, love, and music, which are the three most powerful means
of seducing mankind; and hence so many exhortations to avoid the Sirens'
fatal song; and probably it was hence that the Greeks obtained their
etymology of Siren from a Greek word signifying a _chain_, as if there
were no getting free from their enticement.

But if in tracing this fable to its source, we take Servius as our
guide, he tells us that it derived its origin from certain princesses
who reigned of old upon the coasts of the Tuscan sea, near Pelōrus and
Caprea, or in three small islands of Sicily which Aristotle calls the
isles of the Sirens. These women were very debauched, and by their
charms allured strangers, who were ruined in their court, by pleasure
and prodigality.

This seems evidently the foundation of all that Homer says of the
Sirens, in the twelfth book of the Odyssey; that they bewitched those
who unfortunately listened to their songs; that they detained them in
capacious meadows, where nothing was to be seen but bones and carcasses
withering in the sun; that none who visit them ever again enjoy the
embraces and congratulations of their wives and children; and that all
who dote upon their charms are doomed to perish. What Solomon says in
the ninth chapter of Proverbs, of the miseries to which those are
exposed who abandon themselves to sensual pleasures, well justifies the
idea given us of the Sirens by the Greek poets, and by Virgil's

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