The Ancient Library

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On this page: Crypteia – Cteatus – Ctesias – Cubicularius – Cubiculum – Cucullus – Cuneus – Cupido – Cura – Curetes – Curia



confused with that of Chronos (" Time"), he was afterwards erroneously regarded as the god of time. In works of art he was represented as an old man with a mantle drawn over the back of his head, and hold­ing a sickle in his hand. The Romans identified him with Saturnus, their god of sowing (see saturnds).

Crypteia (Krypteia). A kind of police maintained at Sparta, with the principal object of watching the Helots. The service was manned by young Spartans appointed annually for the purpose by the Ephors, and their duty was to put dangerous or apparently dangerous Helots out of the way without more ado. A later and erroneous idea represented the Crypteia as a mur­derous chase of the Helots, annually con­ducted by the Spartan youth.

Cteatus (Kteatos). See molionid^e. Cteslas (Ktesias). A Greek historian, born in Cnidus in Caria, and a contemporary of Xenophon. He belonged to the family of the Asclepiadse at Cnidus. In 416 b.c. he came to the Persian court, and became pri­vate physician to King Artaxerxes Mnemon. In this capacity he accompanied the king on his expedition against his brother Cyrus, and cured him of the wound which he re­ceived in the battle of Cunaxa, b.c. 401. In 399 he returned to his native city, and worked up the valuable material which he had collected during his residence in Persia, partly from his own observation, and partly from his study of the royal archives, into a History of Persia (PersZca) in twenty-three books. The work was written in the Ionic dialect. The first six books treated the history of Assyria, the remaining ones that of Persia, from the earliest times to events within his own experience. Ctesias' work was much used by the ancient historians, though he was censured as untrustworthy and indifferent to truth; a charge which may be due to the fact that he followed Persian authorities, and thus often differed, to the disadvantage of the Greeks, from the version of facts current among his country­men. Only fragments and extracts of the book survive. The same is true of his Indica, or notices of the observations which he had made in Persia on the geography and productions of India.

Cublcularlus (Latin). A chamberlain. See slaves.

Ciibiciiram (Latin). A bed-chamber. Sec house.

Cficulhis (Latin). A hood. See cloth-

j Cun6us. See theatre.

Cupido (" Desire "). The Latin personi­fication of Eros, or the god of Love.

Cura. The Latin term for the superin-; tendence of a special department of business, such as the distribution of corn (annona), making of roads, regulation of watercourses, j aqueducts and the like. The officers en­trusted with these special duties were termed curatOrls. In the republican age they were extra ordinein. In the civil law cura denotes the guardianship of a madman (fuTiosus) or a spendthrift (prodlgus). The curator who managed his property and re­presented him at law was originally the next dgnatus, but afterwards he was always appointed by the authorities. Since 200 b.c. it was also customary to appoint cura-tores for young persons under twenty-five, under certain conditions, to protect them against being overreached in legal proceed­ings. From the time of Marcus Aurelms, who made the legality of certain trans­actions dependent on the co-operation of a curator, the cura mlnOrum became a stand­ing institution.

CuretBs (Kouretes). In Cretan mythology the Curetes were demi-gods armed with weapons of brass, to whom the new-born child Zeus was committed by his mother Rhea for protection against the wiles of Cronus. They drowned the cries of the child by striking their spears against their shields. They gave their name to the priests of the Cretan goddess Rhea and of the Idsean Zeus, who performed noisy war-dances at the festivals of those deities.

Curia (Latin). The name of the thirty divisions into which the three tribus of the Roman patricians were divided for political and religious objects. Every curia contained a number of gentes, supposed to be exactly ten, and a president, curio, whose duty it was to look after its secular and religious business. At the head of all the curia? stood the Curio Maximus, who was charged with the notification of the common festivals Fordlcldla and Fornacalia(see these words). The separate curiones were chosen by their respective curise, and the Curio Maximus was elected by the people in special comitia out of the number of curiones. For its special sacrifices every curia had its place of meeting, bearing the same name, with a hearth and dining-hall where the members met to feast and sacrifice. The plebeians seem to have been admitted to the sacrifices, which were offered on behalf of the whole people, and were paid for at the expense

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