The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Agesander – Agger – Aglaia – Agnatio – Agon – Agonothetes – Agora – Agoracritus – Agoranomus – Agraulos – Agriculture



from paying rent. In the civil wars of Sulla the Ager Publicus in Italy, which had been nearly all used up in assignations, received so vast an increase by the ex­termination of whole townships, by pro­scriptions and confiscations, that even after all the soldiers had been provided for, there remained a portion undistributed. Under the Empire there was hardly any left in Italy ; what there was, whether in Italy or in the provinces, came gradually under the control of the imperial exchequer.

Agesander (Gr. Agesandros). A Greek artist of the school of Rhodes. The cele­brated group of the Laocoon is the joint work of Agesander, Athenodorus, and Poly-dorus. (See laocoon.)

Agger. In Roman siege-works, the mound or embankment raised against an enemy's walls. (See sieges.)

Aglaia. One of the Graces. (See chakites.)

Agnatio. The Latin name for the relationship of real or adoptive descent from one father, which was necessarily expressed by identity of clan-name (see name, 2.) A brother and sister were agnati, but her children were no longer agnati to his. At first agnati alone were entitled to inherit property or act as guardians; it was but gradually that the cognQti (q.v.) came to have a place by their side, till Justinian abolished the right of agnates, and brought that of cognates to complete recognition.

Agon. The Greek name for a musical ( = artistic) or gymnastic contest. The um­pires who conducted them, and gave away the prizes, were called AgonSthStce. (On those who officiated at scenic games in Athens, see drama.) At Rome such con­tests, modelled on those of the Greeks, became frequent before the fall of the Re­public ; under the Empire they came round at periods of several years, like the great Grecian games. The most famous of all, which held its ground to the end of anti­quity, was the Agon Capitollnus, founded by Domitian in 86 a.d., and recurring every ! four years. He had an Odeum (q.v.) built ; for the musical performances, and a StadiSu i for the athletic combats, both in the j Campus Martins. Another great Agon was j held in 248 a.d. in honour of the city having stood for a thousand years. Agonothetes. See agon. Agora (= assembly). The Greek name for the market-place, a consecrated open space, which in coast towns usually lay on the

j seaside, in inland towns at the foot of the

castle hill. As the centre of the city life,

commercial, political, and religious, it was

adorned with temples, statues, and public

; buildings, and planted with trees, especially

planes. When newly built or rebuilt in

late times, it was generally square, and sur-

i rounded by colonnades. In most towns it

| was the place for assemblies of the people.

Ag8racrltus. A Greek artist of Paros, who lived in the latter half of the 5th century b.c., and was a favourite pupil of Phidias. His noblest work was considered [ to be the statue of Neme'sis, 40 feet in j height, which some judges, on account of its excellence, took for a production of the elder artist. In any case it was said that Phidias had allowed the name of Agora-critus to be inscribed on several of his works.

Ag6ran8mus (= market-master). In many Greek towns a magistrate somewhat re­sembling the Roman sedile. At Athens ten agoranomi were chosen by lot every year, five for the city, and five for the port ot Piraeus. They looked especially after the retail trade, gave strangers leave to engage in it, tested weights and measures, as well as the quality of goods, confiscating and destroying what was spoilt; they settled dis­putes between buyers and sellers on the spot, or, if a suit at law was necessary, presided over it [Aristotle's Const, of Athens, c. 51].

Agraulfis. Daughter of Cecrops (q.v.).

Agriculture. (1) Agriculture was in Greece a leading industry, at least as early asHomer. The soil was stubborn, fertile plains being comparatively few, and mountains and rocky ground preponderating. But, favoured by a genial climate, agriculture was carried on almost everywhere with a zeal to which the wants of a dense population added their stimulus. That it was regarded as the very groundwork of social life is shown by the fact that its guardian goddess Demeter (Lat. Cfires) presided also over wedlock and law. It was looked upon as the most legitimate way of earning a livelihood. It was carried to the highest pitch in the Peloponnesus, where every scrap of culti­vable soil was made to yield its crop, as may be seen to this day by the artificial ten-aces that scarp every mountain-slope. Much care was bestowed on irrigation. Scarcity of water was supplemented by artificial means; provision was made against irregular bursts of mountain torrents by embanking and regulating the natural out­lets, while moist lands were channelled and

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.