The Ancient Library

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On this page: Carna – Carea – Arpentum – Carpo – Carroballista – Carruca – Caryatides – Cassandra – Cassianus Bassus – Cassiodorus Senator



Carna. See cardea.


From the Erechtheum, Athens (British Museum).

Carnea (Gr. Karneia). A festival cele­brated in honour of Apollo Carneus ("the protector of flocks ") as early as the time of the immigration of the Dorians. In keeping up the celebration, the Dorians characteristic­ally gave it a warlike colour, by transform­ing their original pastoral deity into the god of their fighting army. The Carnea lasted nine days, from the 7th to the loth of the month Carneus (August-September). The proceedings symbolized the life of soldiers in camp. In every three phra-tricR or Obce nine places were set apart, on which tents or booths were put up. In these tents nine men had their meals in common. All ordinary proceedings were carried on at the word of command, giv-u out by a herald. One part of the festival recalled its originally rural character. This was a race, in which one of the runners, supposed to symbo­lize the blessings of harvest, started in advance, uttering prayers for the city. The others, called " vintage - runners," pursued him, and if they overtook him, the occurrence was taken as a good omen, if they failed, as a bad one. After the twenty-sixth Olympiad (676 b.c.) a musical contest was added, at which the most celebrated artists in all Greece were accustomed to com­pete. The first artist who sang at this con­test was Terpander.

Carpentum. See chariots,

Carpo. See hor^e.

Carroballista. See artillery.

Carruca. See chariots.

Caryatides (Gr. KaryatMes}. A technical term of Greek architecture. Caryatides were female statues clothed in long drapery, used instead of shafts, or columns, to sup­port the entablature of a temple (see cut). The name properly means " maidens of CaryEe (Karyai)" a Spartan town on the Arcadian frontier. Here it was the custom

for bands of girls to perform their country dances at the yearly festivals of Artemis Karyatis. In doing so they sometimes assumed the attitude which suggested the form adopted by the artists in the statues mentioned above. (See also canephori.)

Cassandra (Gr. Kassandra). In Homer Cassandra is the fairest of the daughters of Priam and Hecuba. For the promise of her love, Apollo conferred upon her the gift of prophecy; she broke her word, and the god punished her by letting her retain the gift, but depriving her of the power of making her hearers believe her. Her utter­ances were therefore laughed to scorn as the ravings of a mad woman. It was in vain that, at the birth of Paris, she advised that he should be put to death, and that, when Helen came to Troy, she prophesied the destruction of the city. When the city was taken, she was dragged by Ajax the son of Oileus from the altar of Athene, at which she had taken refuge; but Agamem­non rescued her and took her as his slave to Mycenae. Here she was slain by Cly-tsemnestra when Agamemnon was murdered. She was worshipped with Apollo in several places under the name of Alexandra.

Casslanus Bassus. See geoponici.

Casslfldorus S6nator (Magnus Aurelius) was born in Bruttium, about 480 A.D. He belonged to an old Roman family which had, particularly in the three preceding genera­tions, distinguished itself in the public service. His father stood in high favour with TheodSric, who had an equal regard for his talented and highly educated son, Cassiodorus Senator. On account of his trustworthiness and ability as a statesman, the younger Cassiodorus was appointed to the highest offices by Theodoric and his successors. He was consul a.d. 514, and four times prcefectus. Tor a period of nearly forty years he enjoyed an active and successful career in the public administra­tion, notably as Theodoric's private secre­tary. Afte'r the fall of Vitiges in 540, Cassiodorus retired to the monastery of Vivarium (Vivarese), which he had founded on his estates in Bruttium. Here he passed the rest of his life in religious exercises and literary labour. He died about 57B.

Among the works which he composed during his career as a statesman, we have a universal history called Chromca, from Adam down to the year when it was writ­ten. This consists mainly of a catalogue of the Roman consuls, and is the longest of all the lists which have come down to us.

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.