Ancient Mysteries Mythology Roman Antiquities and Ancient Mythology

Roman Antiquities and Ancient Mythology

Roman Antiquities and Ancient Mythology
Catalog # SKU3831
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Charles K. Dillaway
ISBN 10: 0000000000
ISBN 13: 0000000000000


Roman Antiquities
& Ancient Mythology

Charles K. Dillaway

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 Caesar. 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, Caelian, 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 curiae. 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 revenues.

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 Togae palmatae or trabeae, 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 horse.

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 cruelty.

228 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover - Print size, 13 point font

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