The Ancient Library

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On this page: Agrimensores – Agrippa – Agyieus – Aias



the Itineraries (q.v.) and the Pentinger Table. A book on the results of the sur­vey, which Agrippa had begun writing,

to be either burnt or utilized for manure. The process of threshing (f^.v.) was very defective. (For ancient works on hus­bandry, see geoponici.)

Agrimensores. The Latin name for land-surveyors, otherwise called gromdtici, from grGma, their measuring instrument. This consisted of two dioptric rods crossing each other at right angles and fastened on an iron stand so as to turn horizontally; on the four arms stood four upright dioptra?, with threads stretched across the holes, and in taking observations the threads of two opposite dioptres had to cover each other. The measuring was done on the same prin­ciple as the marking-out of a templum by the Augurs (g.v.), viz. by drawing in the centre of the piece of land two lines inter­secting at right angles, one from north to south (cardo maxlmus), the other from east to west (d&cumanus maximus); the further division of the ground was effected by parallels to these lines (llmitas). It was not until the imperial period that land-surveying became a separate profession. Then surveyors were prepared in special schools and appointed by the State, both for quarter-master's duty in camp and for measurements under Government; they decided as judges in fixing boundaries, and were consulted as specialists in dis­putes affecting land. Thus a literature arose, half mathematical, half legal, the remains of which extend over the first six centuries a.d. The earliest of these gro-matici, or writers on land-measurement, is Frontinus (q.v.), from whose work, written from 81-96 A.D., and dealing more with the legal side of the subject, extracts are pre­served in the commentary of Aggenus TJrblcus. Hyginus, Balbus, and probably Slculus Flaccus, nourished in the time of Trajan; later still, Nipsus, Innocentius, and Aggenus.

Agrippa (Marcus Vipsanius). Born b.c. 6b, died b.c. 12. He was the friend, son-in-law, general, and minister of Augustus. He was also a speaker and writer of some re­pute. Under his supervision was carried out the great survey of the Roman empire which Csesar had begun in 44 b.c. With the help of the materials thus obtained he constructed a circular Map of the World. About B.C. 7, Augustus had it engraved on a large scale in marble, and set up for public use in the colonnade built by Agrippa's sister Polla (porttcus Polio;), It may be regarded as the source and model of all succeeding aids to geography, especially

* coin of agrippa's third consulship, b.c. 27.

(Berlin Museum.)

Obv. Head of Agrippa, wearing the corona ctassica. Rev. Neptune with Dolphin and Trident. S C= Sonatas consulto.

was continued and published, by order of Augustus, under the title of Chorogr&phia.

Agyieus. A title of Apollo (q.v.) as god of streets and highways.

Aias (Lat. Aiax). (1) Son of the Locrian king O'ileus, hence called the Locrian 01 Lesser Aias in contrast to the Telamonian. In forty ships he led the Locrians to Troy, where, notwithstanding his small stature and light equipment, he distinguished him­self beside his gigantic namesake, especially in the battle by the ships and that over the body of Patroclus. He was renowned for hurling the spear, and as the swiftest runner next to Achilles. On his voyage home, to appease the anger of Athena, he suffered shipwreck on the Gyrsean rocks off the island of MycSnos or (according to another story) on the southernmost point of Euboea. Poseidon indeed rescued him on the rocks; but when he boasted of having escaped against the will of the gods, the sea-king with his trident smote off the rock on which he sat, and he sank in the waves. Later accounts say that the goddess's auger fell upon him because, at the taking of Troy, when Cassandra had taken refuge at her altar and embraced her image, he tore her away by force, so that the statue fell. Though Agamemnon took the maiden from him, the Greeks left the outrage on the goddess unpunished, and on their way home she wreaked her wrath on the whole fleet. He, like other heroes, was said to be still living with Achilles in the island of Leuce. The Locrians worshipped him as a hero, and always left a vacant place for him in the line of battle.

(2) Son of TSlamon of Salamis, and half-brother of Teucer; called the Great Aias, because he stood head and shoulders higher

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