The Ancient Library

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On this page: Colacretae – Collegium – Colluthus – Coloni – Colonies



until the time of Nero, under whom it fell in weight and purity till its value was only sixpence. During the 2nd century it sank to 3jd., below the half of ita former value, and the silver coinage was conse­quently changed into small money. Diocle­tian was the first to restore some order to the currency. After 292 a.d. he issued a coin (argenteus) of pure silver, and equal in weight to the Neroniau denarius. The argenteus maintained its ground till 360 a.d., when it made way for a new system of silver coinage on the standard of the gold solidus. The copper coins bore the mark B.C. (Senatus Consulto), because issued by the senate. Under the Empire the following small coins were minted; the sestertius =4 asses; dupondius =2 asses, both of brass; the semis ( = j an as), and the quad-rans =J as, both of copper. These last were the smallest change. The quadrans went out of use as early as Trajan, at the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., the dupondius, as, and semis, in the middle, and the sestertius in the last half of the 3rd century, when Diocletian issued two new copper coins, one of which was called denarius.

Colacretse (Gr. Kolakrltai). A financial board at Athens, whose duty it was to administer the fund accruing from the fines taken in the courts of justice. It was this fund from which the cost of the public meals in the Prytaneum, and the salary of the HelJastee, was defrayed. The name properly means " collectors of hams," and probably points to the fact that the hams of the victims sacrificed on certain occasions were given to the Colacretce as contribu­tions to the meals in question.

Collegium. The general term in Latin for an association. The word was applied in a different sense to express the mutual rela­tion of such magistrates as were collfgie. Besides the collegia of the great priest­hoods, and of the magistrates' attendants (see apparitores), there were numerous associations, which, although not united by any specifically religious objects, had a religious centre in the worship of some deity ; or other. Such were the numerous collegia j of artisans (tiplftcMm or artificum), and j the societies existing among the poor for j providing funerals, which first appear under the Empire. The political clubs (collegia sodaKcla) were associated in the worship of the LdrSs Compitdlas, and were, indeed, properly speaking, Collegia compitallcia, or " societies of the cross-ways." The religious

societies were, in some instances, established by the State for the performance of certain public religious services (see sodalitas), in other cases they were formed by private individuals, who made it their business to keep up the shrines of particular deities (often foreign deities) at their own expense.

Colluthus (Gr. Kolluthos). A Greek poet, native of LycSpolis, in Upper Egypt, who flourished at the beginning of the 6th century A.D. He wrote an unimportant epic poem in 385 verses, on the rape of Helen, in which he followed the cyclic poets.

Cflloni (" cultivators "), During the later imperial age the coloni were serfs, who, on payment of a certain rent, cultivated a piece of land, belonging to their masters, for their own profit. They were so far free that they could not be sold, could contract legal marriages, and could own property. But they were absolutely bound to the estate, and if this was sold, passed with the rest of what was upon it to the new owner. The coloni were probably the descendants of barbarians, who were settled in the pro­vinces for agricultural purposes.

Colonies. (1) Greek. In Greece, colo­nies were sometimes founded by vanquished peoples, who left their homes to escape sub­jection at the hand of a detested enemy; sometimes as a sequel to civil disorders; sometimes to get rid of surplus population, and thereby to avoid internal convulsions. But in most cases the object was to estab­lish and facilitate relations of trade with foreign countries. If a Greek city was send­ing out a colony, an oracle (before all others that of Delphi) was almost invariably con­sulted. Sometimes certain classes of citi­zens were called upon to take part in the enterprises; sometimes one son was chosen by lot from every house where there were several sons; and strangers expressing a desire to join were admitted. A person of distinction was selected to guide the emi­grants and make the necessary arrange­ments. It was usual to honour these founders of colonies, after their death, as heroes. Some of the saered fire was taken from the public hearth in the Prytaneion, and the fire on the public hearth of the new city was kindled thereat. And, just as each individual had his private shrines, so the new community maintained the worship of its chief domestic deities, the colony send­ing embassies and votive gifts to their prin­cipal festivals.

The relation between colony and mother-

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