The Ancient Library

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the end, standing upright when at rest, and furnished with two horizontal cords to pull it up and down. This was drawn back by a winch into a nearly horizontal position, and


then released. It started up, and meeting with a check-board fixed behind the engine, hurled the stones out of the sling. As a


rule, the heavy artillery was only employed in sieges; but artillery accompanied armies in the field for purposes of conquest or defence. The legions and the cohorts of the Praetorian Guard had their own artil­lery. And at the end of the 4th century every centuria in the legion had a ballista of the later kind drawn on wheels by mules (carroballista), and served by eleven men. Every cohort had an onager, carried on a cart drawn by two oxen.

Arusianus Messius. A Latin grammarian who lived about 395 a.d., and made an

alphabetical collection, for school use, of words that admit of various constructions, with examples from Vergil, Sallust, Terence and Cicero, under the title Exempla Elo-cntlOnum.

Arval Brothers (Fratres Arva,tes = ot the fields). The Latin name for a college of priests consisting of twelve life-members, who performed the worship of Dla Diet, a goddess not otherwise mentioned, but prob­ably identical with the old Romau goddess of cornfields, Acca Larentia (q.v.), who also is said to have founded this fraternity. Our more accurate knowledge of it we owe to its annual reports inscribed on the marble tablets, ninety-six in number, which have been dug up (1570-1869) on the site of its meeting-place, a grove at the fifth mile­stone from Rome, and which extend from A.D. 14-241. About its condition under the Republic we have no information; but under the Empire its members were persons of the highest rank. The emperors them­selves belonged to it, either as ordinary members, or, if the numbers were filled up, as extraordinary. The election was by co-optation on the motion of the president (magister), who himself, together with a flamen, was elected for one year; their badge was a white fillet and a wreath of ears of corn. The Arvales held their chief festival on three days in May, on the 1st and 3rd in Rome, on the 2nd in the grove, with a highly complicated ceremonial, in­cluding a dance in the temple of the god­dess, to which they sang the written text of a hymn so antiquated that its meaning could scarcely be understood. This Arval Hymn, in which the Lares and Mars are invoked, is one of the oldest monuments we possess of the Latin tongue. Amongst other duties of this priesthood should es­pecially be mentioned the expiatory sacri­fices in the grove. These had to be offered if any damage had been done to it through the breaking of a bough, the stroke of light­ning, or other such causes ; or again if any labour had been performed in it, though ever so necessary, especially if iron tools had been used. The Arval brothers had also to offer solemn vows on behalf of the Imperial House, both statedly on January 3rd, and on extraordinary occasions, and were bound to fulfil them.

As. In Latin, signifies any unit, which determines the value of fractional quantities in coins, weights and measures, or interest, inheritance and the like. The as was divided duodecimally into uncice. The

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