The Ancient Library

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On this page: Chares – Chariots



without backs were also used by mechanics, soldiers, and boys at school. The backed chairs ordinarily in use much resembled our modern chairs. They generally had a slop­ing back, sometimes arched out in the centre (sec cuts). Chairs of this form were made for women and invalids; and the cathedra or professor's chair was of the same descrip­tion. The Greek thronOs and the Latin s6lium were seats of honour. They were lofty, and had footstools accordingly ; the back was high and straight, the legs were upright, and there were arms at the sides. The Roman pater familias, when giving his clients their morning audience, sat in a solium. Seats were not always stuffed, but cushions were put on them, and cover­ings on the backs. Chairs were made of metal and ivory, as well as of wood.

Chares. (1) Chares of Mttylene. A Greek historian, court-marshal of Alexander the Great. He was the .author of a comprehensive work, con­taining at least ten books, upon the life, chiefly the domestic life, of this monarch. This history had the repu­tation of being trustworthy and in­teresting. Only a few fragments of it remain.

(2) Chares of LindOs in Rhodes. A Greek artist, a pupil of Lysippus. In 278 b.c. he produced the largest statue known in antiquity, the colos­sal image of the sun, 280 feet high, placed at the entrance of the harbour ^__ of Rhodes, and generally known as the Colossus of Rhodes. This was destroyed by an earthquake as early as 222 B.C. The thumbs were thicker than the average span of a man's hand, the fingers larger than many ordinary statues.

Chariots. (1) Greek. The racing chariots in use at the public games require especial mention. These preserved the form of the war-chariots of the heroic age, made to carry the warrior and his charioteer (see out). They were also used at Rome in the games of the circus and in festal processions. The chariot had two low wheels, usually with four spokes each. On these rested the car (see cut), elliptically shaped in front, protected by a board rising to the knees of the driver in front, and sloping off to the rear, where the chariot was open. In the triumphal chariot of the Romans this board was breast high. At the end of the pole wasfastened the yoke. This consisted either of a simple arched piece of wood, or of two rings connected

by a cross-beam, and was fixed on the necks of the two horses or mules which were next to the pole. Sometimes a third and fourth horse were attached by means of a rope passing from the neckband to a rail form­ing the top of the front board. It was indeed the universal custom in antiquity to make the two principal horses draw by the yoke. It was only the extra horses that drew by traces, and this always at the side of the others, never in front of them. Carriages in ordinary uae sometimes had two, some­times four wheels. They were used mostly for carrying burdens. Only women, as a rule, travelled in carriages; men usually either walked or rode, thinking it affecta­tion to drive except in case of old age or illness. It was, however, customary at Athens and elsewhere for a bride to be


{Vase paintini:.)

drawn to the house of the bridegroom in a carriage drawn by mules or oxen, sitting between the bridegroom and his friend.

(2) Rome. Among the Romans we find a great variety of carriages in use, for trans­port, travelling and state occasions. This variety is apparent in the number of differ­ent names, which cannot however always be referred with certainty to the forms of carriage presented in works of art. The various kinds of travelling-carriages must have been borrowed from abroad, as is proved by their names. The reda, for instance, came from Gaul. This was a four-wheeled travelling carriage for family and baggage, or for company. The clsium and essldum were light two-wheeled convey­ances. The essedum was probably a Gaulish war-chariot, as the covinnus was a British war-chariot. The four-wheeled pilentum came also from Gaul. It was drawn by

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